Sask. border communities feeling effects of Manitoba travel restrictions

YORKTON — With the pandemic already affecting numerous Saskatchewan industries, border communities fear what newly implemented travel restrictions in Manitoba could mean for businesses.

As of Friday, anyone entering Manitoba from any part of Canada will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

Virginia Lomenda, the owner of Virginia’s Hair Boutique in Churchbridge, Sask., said she is already feeling the effects. The town is approximately 30 km from the Manitoba border.

“I’ve already had four cancellations and I have other Manitobans that I do hair on and I don’t know if they know that they will be shut down from coming across the border,” Lomenda said.

Lomenda said owning and managing her business will become more difficult as fewer customers want to cross the border.

Langenburg, Sask. is even closer to Manitoba, approximately 15 km from the border.

Jeremy Stasuick, the Mayor of Langenburg, said the Manitoba government has done a reasonable job outlining who can and cannot cross provincial lines.

Anyone who is travelling for essential reasons or medical purposes, or anyone who regularly travels to and from communities near provincial borders for essential reasons will be exempt from the mandatory isolation.

However, Stasuick added that businesses in border towns rely on customers from Manitoba.

“We have a lot of businesses that wouldn’t survive without the support of Manitobans and we certainly welcome them to our community, providing they follow our provincial guidelines and act responsibly in doing so,” Stasuick said.

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, said on Friday that if people don’t follow the new travel restrictions, they could face fines.

“We’ll continue to look at ways to ensure people are following (the restrictions) because right now, as our numbers are tracking down through most of the province, we’re at risk of importation of the virus,” said Roussin.

With files from CTV News Winnipeg

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