Ontario extends ban on interprovincial travel until June 16

·2 min read
An Ontario Provincial Police officer in Hawkesbury, Ont. checks travellers entering Ontario in from Quebec when new interprovincial travel restrictions were imposed in mid-April. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press - image credit)
An Ontario Provincial Police officer in Hawkesbury, Ont. checks travellers entering Ontario in from Quebec when new interprovincial travel restrictions were imposed in mid-April. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press - image credit)

The Ontario government has announced that it has extended its ban on interprovincial travel until June 16 as part of its emergency measures implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The ban, which applies to non-essential travel, affects Ontario's land boundaries with Manitoba and Quebec.

In an email on Saturday, Stephen Warner, spokesperson for Ontario's solicitor-general's ministry, confirmed the extension, saying the order will remain in place until June 16 and it is being imposed in 14-day increments.

"We will communicate with the public prior to its termination," Warner said in the email.

The original order was made on April 16, 2021 and was set to be revoked on June 2. It has now been extended by 14 days.

Other orders aimed at helping manage the COVID-19 pandemic have also been extended until June 16. Those include an order closing public lands to recreational campers, an order allowing for the transfer of hospital patients without their consent, and another that removes bureaucratic red tape to allow health workers to be redeployed more efficiently for pandemic purposes.

Under the interprovincial travel ban, the government has restricted travel into Ontario from Manitoba and Quebec, with the exception of travel for the purposes such as work, health care services, transportation and delivery of goods and services or exercising Indigenous or treaty rights.

At the time that the order was imposed, Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a news release: "The rising spread of variants means we must take stronger measures to limit transmission and prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed.

"As we continue to work to vaccinate those in the areas with the highest rates of transmission, everyone must adhere to public health measures and stay at home as much as possible to protect capacity in our health system and the health of thousands of Ontarians."

Ontario's stay-at-home, meanwhile, remains in place until June 2.