In the Manitoba government's latest move to combat the spread of COVID-19, five border checkpoints between Manitoba and its neighbouring provinces will be established March 27. There will not be a checkpoint in Flin Flon.
Four checkpoints will be along the Saskatchewan border, near Virden (Trans-Canada Highway East), Russell (PTH 16), Roblin (PTH 5W) and Souris (PTH 2), with one checkpoint along the Trans-Canada Highway near the Ontario border.
Infrastructure minister Ron Schuler said the decision on where to put the checkpoints was based on traffic volume. Officials added they considered placing a checkpoint in Flin Flon on Highway 10, but decided against it because most of the traffic moving through the highway is local.
“We're just trying to ramp this up for 2 p.m. today,” Schuler said.
“If there is a need indicated, whether it be on Highway 10 or anywhere else, we will consider adding extra checkpoints.”
Schuler was joined by Manitoba justice minister Cliff Cullen to announce the checkpoints.
“We are going to treat it as the equivalent of a construction site,” Schuler said.
Schuler said no one will be denied entry to the province, but the checkpoints are to hand out information on self-isolation. Residents are required to self-isolate after any travel outside of Manitoba, with the exception of local traffic involving communities near the border like Creighton and Denare Beach.
“At no point in time is there going to be a check stop,” Shuler said.
“This is a checkpoint where we are advising people with written material that they should quarantine themselves.”
Schuler added everyone travelling through those roads would receive the information, no matter how many times they go back and forth.
“If you’re on two wheels or 18 wheels, you’re getting this,” he said.
“I guess even four-legged if you come through on a horse. We're gonna hand you one of these and talk to you about it.”
Officials said traffic moving outside of Manitoba will need to be slowed down in order to ensure the safety of workers at the checkpoint. They added checkpoint workers will not come into direct contact with people returning to Manitoba, instead handing an info sheet over and talking at a distance while wearing a mask and gloves.
Additional signage will also be placed at airports receiving planes from outside the province informing travellers of the requirement to self-isolate.