For the first time since April 16, travel above the 53rd parallel from the south is fully allowed in Manitoba.
Public health orders posted to the Manitoba government's website June 26 made the change official, effective immediately. Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba's chief provincial health officer, signed off on the changes, which were also signed by provincial health minister Cameron Friesen. The change was also announced in the provincial government's daily COVID-19 news release.
“I have determined that conditions have evolved and the prohibitions and restrictions contained in the order are not currently required,” it reads.
All non-essential travel from northern Manitoba to southern Manitoba was restricted April 17 by a provincial health order. Exemptions to the rule were eventually created for southerners heading north to camp, but only if they travelled directly to their campsite or cabin. The order was last updated June 18.
Travel to southern Manitoba from the north was not recommended, but allowed before June 26.
The public health orders still outline the need for travellers to respect local rules, such as restrictions enacted by First Nations communities. Such restrictions, including checkpoints at northern communities like Cross Lake, are not affected by the rule change and will remain up per local government decisions.
Officials also reported two new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba June 26, both in people from Winnipeg. Neither are considered community-based-transmission. Additional changes to health orders announced June 26 include allowing individuals who are self-isolating because of travel to visit relatives with life threatening diseases if the institution allows it.
Up-to-date changes to Manitoba’s public health orders can be found at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/soe.html.