Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said today that the province is amending public health orders in order to put formal restrictions on interprovincial travel to protect Manitobans from COVID-19 and to help prevent importation of possible variants from other jurisdictions.
In announcing the move, Premier Pallister said that: “Manitobans have worked incredibly hard over the last two months to flatten our COVID-19 curve, which has allowed us to take a cautious, measured approach to reopening some services in our province.”
Premier Pallister continued: “Out of an abundance of caution, we are implementing more formal travel restrictions to protect Manitobans from the risks of COVID-19 being introduced to us further by travel including any new COVID-19 strains from other jurisdictions.”
The public health orders will be amended on Jan. 29 to specify that anyone entering Manitoba from anywhere in Canada will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
This includes those entering from northern and Western Canada, and from west of Terrace Bay in Ontario, which under previous health orders did not require self-isolation.
Current exemptions to self-isolation measures are still in effect including those traveling for essential interprovincial work and people travelling for medical purposes. There will also continue to be exemptions for people who regularly travel to and from communities near the borders for essential purposes.
Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, said: “Let me be clear – Manitobans should not be traveling, either internationally, inter-provincially or within our province except for essential reasons. This will help reduce the spread of COVID-19, including cases of new variants, which have been found in other provinces.”
Dr. Roussin pointed out that: “This revised order formalizes that measure and lays out clear requirements for Manitobans. We must all work together to observe these self-isolation requirements as well as other public health fundamentals, including physical distancing, frequent handwashing and mask wearing, to continue to keep our COVID-19 numbers at bay.”
Manitobans currently out-of-province will have until 11:59 p.m., Thurs., Jan. 28 to return to the province without being required to self-isolate. If they arrive after that time, they must self-isolate as appropriate on their return.
Failure to self-isolate in accordance with public health advice is a violation of the order and is enforceable under the Public Health Act. Individuals could be subject to fines for non-compliance. Go to www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/restartmb/prs/orders/index.html for more on Manitoba’s travel and self-isolation requirements.