THUNDER BAY – Easter weekend for many across Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario usually means travel, opening camp up for the season, and gathering with family for a dinner. It also means for many times in church to celebrate Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
This Easter, under COVID-19, many things are different. The cross border shopping trips to Duluth and to International Falls and Minneapolis are off the table. However, some things will remain the same.
In Ontario, Premier Ford has officially declared that the Easter Bunny provides an essential service, offering relief to Ontario’s children. “Very glad to hear Premier Ford has made the Easter Bunny an essential service. He will be sure to make his way up to the Northwestern Ontario this weekend,” shares Minister Greg Rickford the Kenora-Rainy River MPP.
Stores have been mandated to be closed for Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Across Canada trips outside of Canada now face new restrictions.
As we head into the upcoming Easter and Passover long weekend – a weekend that represents for many a time to be with family and friends – the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) would like to remind all that #NowIsNotTheTime for social gatherings. Restrictions are in place on all non-essential travel for foreign nationals, including United States citizens and residents, and Canadians who are planning to cross the border.
The Governments of Canada and the United States (U.S.) implemented restrictions on March 21, 2020 for all non-essential travel along the Canada-U.S. border in response to the spread of COVID-19. This means that travel across the border of an optional or discretionary nature, including tourism and recreation, is not permitted while these restrictions remain in place.
Before you leave home, the CBSA advises you that you will be returned to the U.S. if you attempt to come to Canada for any of the following examples of non-essential travel:
- Visiting family, friends or a girlfriend, boyfriend or fiancé(e);
- Attending a party or celebration;
- Going to a restaurant for take-out;
- Driving in transit for the purpose of taking a shortcut through Canada to get to a U.S. destination faster
- Fishing or hunting; and
- Opening or checking on a cottage or seasonal home.
Canadians are reminded that if they return to Canada from any foreign destination, that they must quarantine (self-isolate) for 14 days, which means no social gatherings or shopping upon return.
As the CBSA is committed to limiting the spread of COVID-19 in Canada, we remind travellers that now is not the time to travel for non-essential purposes.
- For more information on crossing the border during COVID-19, the CBSA has an information line in place: 1-204-983-3500 or 1-506-636-5064 (outside Canada); 1-800-461-9999 (within Canada); or visit Canada.ca/coronavirus.
- Limited travel exemptions exist for healthy essential service workers that cross the border on a regular basis, such as truck drivers, firefighters and medical workers, as well as travellers who enter Canada to receive essential services such as medical care.
- ·Canadian citizens, permanent residents and Registered Indians under the Indian Act have a right to enter Canada, however, they will be subject to COVID-19 entry screening measures, including the mandatory requirement to quarantine (self-isolate) in Canada for 14-days.
- Regardless of travel, all Canadians are reminded that we can slow the spread of COVID-19 by making a conscious effort to keep a physical distance between each other. Physical (social) distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak.