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Nova Scotia imposes restrictions on inter-provincial travel


March 23, 2020   by The Canadian Press


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AMHERST, N.S. – Nova Scotia imposed new restrictions at its provincial boundary with New Brunswick on Monday as part of a series of measures aimed at tightening social distancing requirements to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Under the restrictions that took effect at 6 a.m., anyone coming to Nova Scotia through land, sea and air entry points will be stopped, questioned and told to self-isolate for 14 days.

Exemptions are allowed for healthy workers in the trades and transport sectors, as well as those going to work in areas such as health care and for patients who need access to essential health services.

Amherst, N.S., Mayor David Kogon, whose town is near the provincial boundary, said he supports the province’s move to enforce screening as a balanced approach that addresses both health and economic concerns.

“There are a lot of people who work in New Brunswick and live in Amherst, so they need to be able to cross over. And I’m one of those people,” said Kogon, who is also a doctor and works at a hospital in Moncton, N.B. “There are also people who work in Nova Scotia but live in New Brunswick so there are dispensations for these people.”

Kogon said the exemptions are important to towns like his and Sackville, N.B., where a number of Amherst’s town staff live. Cross-border movement will be allowed for those who work in town services that are considered essential, he said.

Otherwise the restriction applies to all non-essential travel.

Premier Stephen McNeil attends a briefing as they announce two more presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, in Halifax on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

“So it’s not that they’ve actually closed the border, but they are screening at the border and allowing people to go through when it’s essential that they do,” Kogon said.

The mayor said while health concerns are paramount, the commercial implications of closing the border altogether can’t be ignored. Kogon said up to $55 million in commercial goods flows across the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick boundary every day by highway transport and rail.

“That’s huge for our commerce in Nova Scotia,” he said.

In Sackville, Mayor John Higham said that under normal conditions there are typically so many business and personal interactions between two provinces it’s as if “the border doesn’t exist.”

He said it remains to be seen how much inconvenience will be caused by Nova Scotia’s move, although he supports it.

“We do have people who run businesses from one side or the other … so those people are going to be in more difficulty if their stores are open,” said Higham. “So it’s going to affect individuals quite a bit I would suspect.”

Leeya Hicks lives in Amherst but owns Joey’s Pizza & Pasta in Sackville, where she has been continuing to run a takeout and delivery service.

Hicks said she had no problem getting to work on Monday, but would find out on her return ride home what the actual requirements for her will be and whether she will have to self-isolate.

“It may be an issue,” said Hicks. “I’m told I should be all right but I won’t know until I go home.”

As it is, Hicks said she’s lost about 90 per cent of her normal business and she’s had to reduce staff from 16 to two.

“I’m down to me and one other person working,” she said.

Members of the RCMP were at the border crossing on Monday to help with vehicle checks, which were conducted at the inbound weight scales off the Trans-Canada Highway, spokeswoman Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said in an email.

“Our current role is to assist provincial personnel as they set up the area in relation to the province of Nova Scotia’s recent declaration of a state of emergency,” said Clarke.

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil declared the provincial state of emergency on Sunday, saying it was necessary because people had been blatantly ignoring a previous order for social distancing and self-isolation.

In addition to the border measures, the province announced that people were prohibited from gathering in groups larger than five. Individuals caught violating the limit would face a $1,000 fine, while businesses would face a $7,500 fine.

– By Keith Doucette in Halifax

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 23, 2020.



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33 Comments » for Nova Scotia imposes restrictions on inter-provincial travel
  1. Veronique says:

    What do they mean when they say people entering the province will be stopped? Do they stop you from entering the province? Or do they stop and question you tell you to self isolate and then let you in?

    • Charlotte Campbell says:

      Can a traveller who has proof of having tested negative fly from Toronto to Halifax this coming Thursday, April 23?

    • RJ Maxine says:

      My understanding is that you can go through but must self isolate for 14 days.. Confusing guidelines as misinformation is out on Facebook.

  2. Carole says:

    I didn’t think coming to New-Brunswick to snowmobile was essential. There are people still crossing the border

  3. David Moore says:

    Hi there, I live in Yarmouth Nova Scotia and my mother who is 84 lives alone just outside of Fredericton, NB. I was wondering if I went to pick her up and bring her here to ensure her well being and safety, will I have to self quarantine for 14 days when I get back? I am a self employed landlord and maintain my own apartments.

  4. Brian Johnson says:

    I have shared custody of my son who travels back and forth from PEI TO NOVA SCOTIA. Will I be able to see him now that the restrictions are in place?

  5. Faye Kinney says:

    My husband will be traveling from Grande Prairie where he was working to Nova Scotia where we live. Will he have to self isolate or will he have to quarantine himself?

  6. Raymond says:

    I’m trying to return home to Ontario from Newfoundland driving will I be able to cross the province?

  7. Darrell Wright says:

    My wife wants to know if she can go visit our daughter in Halifax if she isolates four 14 days before returning to New Brunswick

    • mike says:

      hi im from new brunswick and like to go visit my daughterin beliveau cove to help with horses and house renovation can some body guide me on that please

  8. Terri says:

    I need to leave Quebec on April 20th to go back to Newfoundland. I have to go home to take care of my 11 and 14 year old daughters. Will I be allowed to drive through with Marine Atlantic Info?

  9. DEBORAH PEARSON says:

    I need to get my daughter’s vehicle home to Ontario, from NL. She is starting a nursing job in Ontario, and needs her vehicle to commute back and forth to work. Will we be able to get through the provinces if we stay in our vehicle for travel

  10. Ian Dubelaar says:

    Is anyone answering these questions? If so it would be great to see the answers.
    Here’s mine: I own a cabin in a remote part of Cape Breton. It needs some serious repairs, but is currentlty inhabitable. Can I travel from Ontario to Cape Breton to do this work? I don’t have a problem self isolating because I am already doing that in Ontario. I can self isolate in the cabin as I work on it.

  11. Susan fry says:

    I will be travelling from nb to halifax for an appointment with a surgical oncologist dr. Giacomantonio. My mother is travelling with me. Do we need any documentation to show at the border. We will be entering ns on April 19, staying overnight for my appointment on the 20th and returning home directly after.

  12. Michel Genest says:

    My daughter is in Sackville at Mount Allison. She wants to go home to Newfoundland via Halifax. Will she have go self isolate in N.S. before taking her plane?

  13. David Thompson says:

    I want to travel from Middleton, Nova Scotia to Bathurst New Brunswick to pick up a trailer to haul back to Nova Scotia with my one ton truck. Is this okay?

    • Kim Powers says:

      I need to travel to Ontario to pick up my son. He made plans to move home before the coronavirus started. Can I still go pick him up.

    • Todd says:

      Hey David, just wondering how you made out with getting your trailer? I’m looking to do the same.
      Thanks, Todd

  14. Cheryl Roberge says:

    I can understand the importance of self isolation to a point However, I have just returned from 6 weeks in Calgary isolating there with my daughter and grandchildren.We only went out for a few groceries .Now I returned via westjet yesterday and have to isolate again I have no symptoms and there are no cases of coved in Digby.My mother lives next door and is ill .She is ill and very anxious. my brother also lives in Digby and has ALS .He May not have much longer.This is crazy nonsense. The government is al wrong about how they handled this isolation

  15. keir says:

    can you travel from PEI threw new Brunswick to nova scotia to pick up the new pup and right back to PEI.stop for gas and a drive-thru for a meal

  16. Lynn Buskard says:

    My daughter is now back to work. She has no child care. I want to come from Calgary to Halifax rent a car to drive to Fredericton to her home. Will I be able to cross the border from NS to NB? How do I prove to them I am an essential worker? Yes I understand and I will quarantine in her basement apartment for 14 days before starting to babysit.

  17. Mary Snow says:

    Planning on leaving nl to travel to Ontario in June I know I have to isolate well there be problems at boarders

  18. Hubert J Wilhelm says:

    I am renting a House in Yarmouth,NS.
    However I am stuck in the Toronto, ( GTA ) since March.
    Is it allowed to drive back to N.S. via Quebec and New Brunswick ?

  19. Terrence Landry says:

    Right now I’m stuck in Ontario looking to drive (straight thru) to Nova Scotia via Quebec and New Brunswick. Are the borders open to travel.

  20. Gerard says:

    My brother is living in Ontario now and is selling his home and making a permanent move back to Newfoundland. What information should he know?

  21. Barry Lorton says:

    I planned on flying to Halifax on 20th May where my son will pick me up and we will drive to Cape Breton to work on his isolated acreage, this is his annual vacation and we planned this project some time ago we will be camping and isolated. Is it still possible to continue with this plan ?

  22. Tracy says:

    I’m buying a car in dieppe nb but I live in Amherst ns how do I get it

  23. Mandy says:

    We are moving from Melfort Saskatchewan to Nova Scotia in June and are wondering if we will be allowed in after being screened? And we are going to self isolate for 2 weeks when we get moved in to our home.

  24. Erin Mihaichuk says:

    We live in NB but have a trailer on a lake near New Ross NS. Can we go there? We can isolate our self for 14 days. We do not need to stop on the way there. We have a support group there if we need anything.

  25. Patrick says:

    Where can we find the information on the Nova Scotia website as if we can travel to the province. We are scheduled for our vacation end of June. I have a hard time finding where the government is posting the information about cross-province travels.

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