While provincial governments move to reopen economies and relax some restrictions imposed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions and mandatory self-isolation policies remain in place in the eastern provinces and northern territories.
Here’s what you need to know about the travel policies in each province and territory.
While the province hasn’t implemented border checkpoints, the government is still asking residents to avoid non-essential travel over the B.C.-Alberta border.
The B.C. government website does note, however, that Highway 77 is closed in both directions at Petitot River Bridge (4 km south of the border between British Columbia and the Northwest Territories). The road is closed to non-essential travel.
Alberta has no border checkpoints or travel restrictions, but non-essential travel outside the province is not recommended.
However, the Northwest Territories government has tweaked its checkpoint program at the N.W.T.-Alberta border allowing Albertans to obtain access passes to the Fort Smith, N.W.T. area.
The Saskatchewan government had imposed travel restrictions on northern Saskatchewan but the government has since lifted those restrictions.
Residents are advised to limit any non-essential travel outside of Saskatchewan, with the exception of people who live in border communities and are commuting for work.
It is not mandatory that Sask residents self-isolate for 14 days upon their return from an out of province trip.
The province hadn’t closed its interprovincial borders, but it had established information checkpoints at provincial border crossings — four entering from Saskatchewan and one from Ontario — to inform travellers of the risk of COVID-19.
Watch: Families worry about Manitoba’s restrictions for travellers
However, it has since begun easing up on those checkpoints.
The province is also dropping its mandatory two-week self-isolation period for some visitors.
Travellers coming from Western Canada, the territories, or part of northwestern Ontario (west of Terrace Bay) can enter Manitoba without self-isolating, as long as they don’t have symptoms or known exposure to COVID-19.
There are no travel restrictions in Ontario.
The province had set up roadblocks in some areas to contain the spread of COVID-19 but those have since been removed.
At present, access is allowed to all regions of the province, with the exception of the following territories:
- The Cree Territory of James Bay.
The government, still, is requesting that travel be limited from one region to another or from one city to another.
N.B. Premier Blaine Higgs said he is expecting a travel bubble to open between New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador in early July. Such a bubble would allow for travel among the provinces without the need to self-isolate for 14 days.
N.B. could open to the rest of Canada by mid-July, as long as officials can continue to manage the spread of COVID-19, he said.
In the meantime, all unnecessary travel into New Brunswick is still prohibited, and peace officers are authorized to turn anyone away when they attempt to enter.
Anyone authorized to enter at any point of entry must stop and and answer questions by a peace officer. Travellers who will be staying in the province must then self-isolate for 14 days.
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil is also hoping for the Atlantic bubble to open in early July. And the province could be opened to the rest of the country by mid- to late-July.
Highways, airports and ferry terminals are being monitored, with staff telling travellers to self-isolate for 14 days, no matter where they’re coming from.
Some travellers are exempt from the self-isolation rules, including truckers, medical staff and other essential personnel.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball said he is open to allow the free flow of people between the Atlantic provinces, and officials are working out the details of a regional bubble.
Until then, non-residents are banned from coming into the province, unless they have an exemption. Anyone entering the province is required to isolate for 14 days.
P.E.I Premier Dennis King said he believes it’s still too early to give a specific date when the Atlantic travel bubble will come into effect. However, he said his focus is on that plan, rather than when his province can open to the rest of Canada.
Meanwhile, P.E.I. remains closed to non-residents, allowing only health-care providers and essential workers, such as truck drivers delivering goods, to cross the Confederation Bridge.
Any residents who have travelled within Canada or internationally are ordered to self-isolate for 14 days upon returning.
Yukon, Nunavut, Northwest Territories
All three territories have had active public health orders prohibiting non-essential travel from the rest of Canada.
In Yukon, non-residents are allowed to travel through the territory on their way to other destinations. And on July 1, Yukon will be opening its border with B.C.
Residents of Nunavut and N.W.T. can now travel freely between the territories without having to self-isolate when they return.