Compassionate changes being made to northern Manitoba travel restrictions

WINNIPEG — Changes are being made to the travel restrictions in Manitoba that limit those who can travel past the 53rd parallel.

“Last week, the Public Health Agency of Canada introduced exemptions from the Quarantine Act requirements for self-isolation related to compassionate and caregiving reasons. So our travel orders, including the northern order, are being updated to reflect this,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer of Manitoba.

With these changes, Roussin said people who are not showing symptoms of COVID-19 can travel to Northern Manitoba to care for a friend or family member who is seriously ill or has a life-threatening illness. People will also be able to travel for a funeral for a friend or family member.

“These individuals are required to self-isolate other than for those compassionate reasons, however, and these changes will be reflected in the orders being signed today.”

Roussin noted there are already travel exemptions in place to go north, which includes for work or education.

He said the compassionate reasons are very similar.

“These are just the balance we are trying to achieve with the restrictions, but we just felt with the impacts of this pandemic on so many levels, that we want to ensure we are showing compassion where it is needed,” Roussin said.

Roussin added that these exemptions are already in place for interprovincial travel and that the restrictions on other provinces will also be updated to more closely reflect the northern travel restrictions for more business opportunities.

He said those changes should be happening soon.

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