On April 17, 2020, the government of Manitoba issued two new public health orders under The Public Health Act (Manitoba) imposing mandatory self-isolation for all persons entering Manitoba and restricting northern travel within the province.
On April 30, the Self-Isolation Order for Persons Entering Manitoba (the "Self-Isolation Order") was extended indefinitely.
On May 29 and June 3, the government of Manitoba amended and eased certain restrictions imposed on travel to northern and remote communities as outlined in the Order Prohibiting Travel to Northern Manitoba Communities (the "Northern Travel Order"). This order took effect on June 4.
On June 17, the government of Manitoba released the finalized phase three of its reopening plan, which eases some restrictions imposed on certain travellers, effective June 21. These changes are now reflected in the Updated Self-Isolation Order for Persons Entering Manitoba and the Updated Northern Travel Order, both of which were issued June 18.
More details respecting the province's multi-phased reopening plan can be found in our blog, "Manitoba's Plan for Reopening Businesses".
As detailed in the summary below, the self-isolation and northern travel orders may impact employers operating in Manitoba, as well as employers from other Canadian jurisdictions with employees who travel to and from, and within, Manitoba. While the orders alleviate some of the restrictions on inter-provincial labour mobility, the restrictions have not been removed in their entirety. Further, the Updated Self-Isolation Order does not eliminate the need for employers in Manitoba to continue to monitor and assess the health of their workforce, including workers travelling into Manitoba from out of province, so as to diligently prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
The Updated Self-Isolation Order
The Self-Isolation Order issued April 30 provided that any person entering or arriving in Manitoba from any Canadian jurisdiction was required to self-isolate for 14 days or, if they were in Manitoba for less than 14 days, for the duration of their time in Manitoba.
The Updated Self-Isolation Order issued June 18 terminates and replaces the Self-Isolation Order issued April 30, and will remain in effect until terminated.
Effective June 21, individuals entering Manitoba from a designated western Canadian jurisdiction (i.e., British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut) or northwestern Ontario (defined as west of Terrace Bay) are no longer required to self-isolate for 14 days if they are asymptomatic and have no known exposure to COVID-19. This new exemption is further qualified in the next section.
Further, individuals employed by or affiliated with a film production or professional sports team may enter Manitoba without self-isolating for 14 days if they have self-isolated for 14 days before arriving in Manitoba and follow appropriate hygiene measures while travelling. Note however that persons travelling to Manitoba from outside of Canada are required to abide by the self-isolation requirements under the federal Quarantine Act.
Travellers entering Manitoba from all other Canadian jurisdictions and who are not employed by or affiliated with a film production or professional sports team are required to self-isolate, as detailed further below.
Note however that the province has indicated that consideration will be given on a case-by-case basis to ease the restrictions for certain sectors where proposed plans for necessary travel are deemed satisfactory to address public health requirements.
Persons entering Manitoba who are required to self-isolate for 14 days must travel directly to the home, hotel or residence in which they intend to reside for the 14-day isolation period or duration of their stay if it is less than 14 days.
Persons self-isolating may only leave their home, hotel or residence to receive urgent/emergency medical care, attend a medical appointment that cannot be postponed or undertake essential errands where home delivery is not possible. If an individual leaves their residence for an above stated reason, they must maintain physical distancing of two metres from other persons and immediately return to their residence upon completing the appointment/errand.
The Updated Self-Isolation Order does not apply to the following individuals:
- Manitoba residents who have travelled to Western Canada or northwestern Ontario, if they have not travelled outside of Western Canada or northwestern Ontario and are not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19;
- residents of Western Canada or northwestern Ontario, if they have not travelled to another country or any part of Canada outside of Western Canada or northwestern Ontario in the 14-day period immediately before entering or arriving in Manitoba and are not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19;
- persons who are transporting goods and materials into or through Manitoba, if they are not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19;
- aircraft and train crew members, if they are not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19;
- persons who are engaged in providing vital services in Manitoba, including health-care providers, police officers, emergency services personnel, corrections officers, members of the Canadian Armed Forces, social service workers, and elected officials and their staff;
- persons engaged in the construction or maintenance of critical infrastructure in Manitoba, if they are not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19;
- persons engaged in the construction or maintenance of any building, structure or other project, if the failure to complete the construction or maintenance on a timely basis would pose a threat to persons, property or the environment and they are not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19;
- persons who are travelling into Manitoba to facilitate shared parenting arrangements, if they are not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19;
- persons travelling into Manitoba for emergency medical purposes; or
- persons who have completed the period of isolation required under an emergency order made under the Quarantine Act (Canada) elsewhere in Canada, if they travel directly to Manitoba immediately after their required period of isolation ends.
The Updated Northern Travel Order
The Northern Travel Order issued on June 3 prohibited most non-essential travel to northern Manitoba (defined as north of the 53rd parallel of latitude) and remote communities, which are communities not connected to the provincial highway system by a year-round all-weather road.
The Updated Northern Travel Order issued June 18 terminates and replaces any previous northern travel order, and will remain in effect until terminated.
Effective June 21, residents of Manitoba, Western Canada and northwestern Ontario are permitted to travel to a cottage, cabin, provincial park, campground or hunting or fishing lodge in northern Manitoba or a remote community. Such individuals must not have travelled outside of Canada or to another Canadian jurisdiction (except Western Canada and northwest Ontario) in the 14-day period before their travel to northern Manitoba. Further, travellers to northern Manitoba must not be displaying any symptoms of COVID-19, and they must travel directly to their intended destination and limit their use of local services to the minimum required given the circumstances.
For greater clarity, Western Canada is defined in the order to include British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. northwestern Ontario refers to the portion of Ontario located west of Terrace Bay.
Note that individuals travelling to northern Manitoba must continue to respect any measures or restrictions that have been put in place by local and First Nations communities.
The Updated Northern Travel Order applies to the following area in Manitoba:
The Updated Northern Travel Order does not apply to the following individuals if they are not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19:
- a person who resides in northern Manitoba or a remote community;
- a person who is travelling into northern Manitoba or a remote community in order to establish their permanent residence;
- a person travelling into northern Manitoba or a remote community in the course of their duties with or while providing services to or on the behalf of the federal or provincial governments, a crown corporation, or other government agency;
- health care providers travelling to northern Manitoba and remote communities to provide health care services;
- a person who owns, operates, or is employed by a business to deliver goods and services normally provided by that business, or to engage in activities that the business normally conducts in northern Manitoba or a remote community;
- a person travelling to northern Manitoba or a remote community to facilitate child custody/parenting arrangements or in the course of their duties with a child and family services authority;
- a person travelling to northern Manitoba or a remote community for emergency medical purposes; or
- a person who is travelling into northern Manitoba or a remote community for the purpose of participating in a trial or other judicial proceeding.
The Updated Northern Travel Order does not restrict travel within northern Manitoba by residents of northern Manitoba or the individuals listed above.
This blog was originally published on April 21, 2020.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.