Coronavirus: Quebec-Ontario border to reopen to non-essential travel as of Wednesday

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Coronavirus Canada Updates: Saskatchewan launches Step 2 reopen plan
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Ontario and Quebec have each announced restrictions on non-essential travel between the two provinces will end at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

The order banning non-essential travel between the two provinces went into effect in April.

Since then, provincial and local police have intermittently staffed checkpoints at interprovincial crossings and have issued tickets or turned around motorists who don’t have essential work, medical or humanitarian reasons to travel between regions.

This also marks the end of Quebec’s rule requiring residents returning from Ontario to self-isolate for 14 days.

“I am happy to learn that travel restrictions will be lifted between Ontario and Québec this Wednesday,” Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson wrote on Twitter.

“After months of wasted police resources to control travel around the [National Capital Region], our two highly integrated economic regions will greatly benefit from this decision.”

In an interview with Radio-Canada, Watson said he hadn’t seen evidence the restrictions between Ottawa and Gatineau helped curb COVID-19 cases in the region.

He said the city would bill the provincial government what it cost to operate the checkpoints, which he estimates to be more than $600,000.

“And they’ve assured us that they’ll be paying for that,” Watson said.

Western Quebec moved to yellow zone rules on Monday, allowing some indoor dining and gatherings between households to resume. Ontario is currently in Step 1 of its reopening plan.

Travel restrictions between Ontario and Manitoba will also be lifted on Wednesday.

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