This week, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced that as of January 29 anyone entering the province from anywhere in Canada will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
“Out of an abundance of caution,” Pallister said, “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.”
Previously, people entering Manitoba from Eastern Canada were required to self-isolate, but travellers from Western Canada (Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, and Northwest Territories) and the area west of Terrace Bay, Ont. were exempt.
But this is no longer the case. “Upon entering or arriving in Manitoba, you must travel directly to your home, hotel, or other residence where you intend to reside or stay while in Manitoba and must…stay at that location for 14 days, or for the duration of your stay if it is less than 14 days,” wrote Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Brent Roussin in a document released Thursday.
These restrictions will also apply to Manitoba residents who travel outside of the province to attend to their cottages, with certain exceptions. According to Roussin’s document, a Manitoba resident who’s visited an out-of-province cottage is not required to self-isolate if they are not displaying any COVID-19 symptoms, if they restrict their travel to the minimum required for the purpose of their visit, if they limit their use of local services to essentials only while outside the province, and if they comply by all applicable rules in the jurisdiction where their property is located.
These same rules apply to any non-Manitoba residents entering the province to attend to their cottages or secondary residences.
This kind of travel, however, should be limited to essential purposes only, such as performing necessary property maintenance, wrote government of Manitoba spokesperson Tammy Sawatzky in an email. “Travel to cottages or secondary properties for recreational purposes is not recommended,” she said.
Sawatzky added that if a Manitoba resident is travelling to their cottage in Ontario, they must comply with Ontario’s public health orders, which means self-isolating for 14 days upon arrival, unless they are going to the property for 24 hours or less.
If they do plan to be at the cottage for 24 hours or less, Sawatzky recommended taking a “leave no trace” approach. “You should drive straight to your property without making any stops or visits on the way, stay at the property for the duration of your visit and not interact with or visit anyone outside your household while you’re there (including getting gas or groceries), and drive straight home without making any stops,” she said. “If these rules are observed for an out-of-province property, you will be exempt from the self-isolation orders upon return to Manitoba.”
Violations of Manitoba’s public health and state of emergency orders by an individual or corporation can range from fines of up to $50,000 or $500,000, and/or six months or up to a year imprisonment. Tickets can also be issued for violations under any of the orders in the amount of $486 for individuals and $2,542 for corporations.