WINNIPEG – The Manitoba government will establish five highway checkpoints and provide information in airports to help inform travellers about the public health measures in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, Justice Minister Cliff Cullen and Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler announced on Friday, March 27, 2020.
“We must do everything we can to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and on our health-care system,” said Cullen. “This approach will help ensure travellers know they must self-isolate, what the province’s state of emergency means to them and other important public health information. By being informed, we can reduce the risk to Manitobans and help keep our communities healthy and safe.”
Travellers will receive information about Manitoba’s current state of emergency, public health orders issued under The Public Health Act, and the need to immediately self-isolate for 14 days after travel in Canada or internationally. If Manitobans need assistance with groceries, prescription pickup and other services, they are encouraged to go to www.HelpNextDoorMB.ca.
The Manitoba government says that the travel restrictions they imposed on March 23, 2020, that recommend 14-day self-isolation and self-monitoring for international or domestic travellers will not apply to residents who are travelling to border communities including visits to their camps or cottages.
This would mean the thousands of Winnipegers who have cottages and camps in the Lake of the Woods area would not be impacted.
Effective March 23, public health officials recommended anyone who returns from international or domestic travel should self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days following their return. This recommendation does not include:
• the commercial transportation of goods;
• workers who live in a neighbouring jurisdiction and travel to Manitoba for work;
• health care workers who travel to work from outside the province; and
• normal personal travel in border communities including visits to a cottage.
There does not on the part of the Manitoba Government appear at this time to be the consideration that this decision could put major pressure on the Kenora infrastructure and on the Lake of the Woods District Hospital.
Checkpoints will be located at the:
• Ontario border:
– Trans-Canada Highway East (West Hawk Lake/Falcon Lake);
• Saskatchewan border:
– Trans-Canada Highway West (west of Kirkella/Elkhorn/Virden);
– PTH 16 (west of Russell);
– PTH 5W (west of Roblin); and
– PTH 2 (west of Sinclair/Reston/Souris).
“We expect these checkpoints to be operational this week, staffed by provincial employees,” said Schuler. “Drivers can expect to see roadside signage to help direct them to the checkpoints and support traffic safety.”
These checkpoints are established under the authority of The Public Health Act. No one will be denied entry into Manitoba at these locations.
Signage will also be placed at the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport and the Brandon Municipal Airport to ensure people arriving on domestic flights have similar information.
The province continues to rely on the recommendations of the chief provincial public health officer and encourages all Manitobans to engage in good social distancing protocols including practising following the 3P’s – protect yourself, protect your loved ones and protect your community. For more information, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19.
This is a developing story… More updates will follow.