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Canada Quebecers could be turned around at N.B. border, as that province bans non-essential travel

00:16  26 march  2020
00:16  26 march  2020 Source:   cbc.ca

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The ban on non - essential travel at the U.S.-Canada border is prompting some nervousness amongst people who regularly travel back and forth between the two countries. Brandon Rowe reports from a major border crossing.

The ban on non - essential travel at the U.S.-Canada border is prompting some nervousness amongst people who regularly travel back and forth between the two countries. Brandon Rowe reports from a major border crossing.

Quebecers hoping to travel to  Atlantic Canada could be turned away at the New Brunswick border, N.B. Premier Blaine Higgs announced Wednesday — a new headache for people living in border towns who usually cross back and forth between the two provinces to shop and for medical care.

New Brunswick has set up screening checkpoints at its borders to control the spread of COVID-19, Higgs announced Wednesday.

"Unnecessary travel is no longer permitted," said Higgs. He said non-residents would no longer be able to enter the province to socialize or shop.

People on the Quebec side of the Baie des Chaleurs regularly cross over the J.C. Van Horne Bridge to get supplies in Campbellton, N.B.

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a train crossing a bridge over a body of water: Quebec residents in Listuguj and Pointe-à-la-Croix rely on the bridge across the Baie des Chaleurs to get supplies in the nearest big town of Campbellton, N.B. © Serge Bouchard/Radio-Canada Quebec residents in Listuguj and Pointe-à-la-Croix rely on the bridge across the Baie des Chaleurs to get supplies in the nearest big town of Campbellton, N.B.

The decision was "made knowing the high risk impacts it would have on the citizens of Listuguj and the surrounding areas that rely on access to food and services located in Campbellton, New Brunswick," the Listuguj Mi'gmaq band council said in a statement Wednesday.

It said Darcy Gray, the chief of the First Nation community located close to the N.B. border was informed of the 3 p.m. border shutdown shortly before Higgs' announcement.

The Listuguj council was in an emergency meeting on Wednesday afternoon, to figure out how to address the situation.

Canada, U.S. working out details of cross-border non-essential travel ban

  Canada, U.S. working out details of cross-border non-essential travel ban OTTAWA — Closure of the world's longest undefended border will begin in earnest today as Canada and the United States work out the details of banning non-essential travel between the two countries. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump announced the ban Wednesday, intended to help curtail the rapid spread of COVID-19 without disrupting the flow of essential goods and services on which Canadians and Americans depend. ButPrime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump announced the ban Wednesday, intended to help curtail the rapid spread of COVID-19 without disrupting the flow of essential goods and services on which Canadians and Americans depend.

Germany is also restricting non - essential travel to curb the spread of the pandemic. Both France and Germany have been vocal opponents of closing borders amid the coronavirus pandemic — a step undertaken by many countries worldwide.

As a result of the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic, many countries and regions have imposed quarantines or entry bans for citizens or visitors of the most affected areas of the pandemic.

Témiscouata region affected, too

Towns along Highway 85, the road that runs from Rivière-du-Loup, Que., to Edmundston, N.B., will also be affected, said the mayor of Dégelis, Que., Normand Morin.

Morin said Dégelis residents make the 30-minute drive to Edmundston because that's nearest town with larger stores and supermarkets.

"I imagine it's businesses in Dégelis that will pick up the slack, at least in the short term," the mayor said.

In turn, New Brunswickers drive to Dégelis, at least under normal circumstances, Morin said, to go to restaurants and to the SAQ.

"On a commercial level we've always had a special relationship with Edmundston."

The general manager of the Témiscouata Chamber of Commerce, Martine Lemieux, also expects to see an impact on the region's grocery and convenience stores if travellers are no longer circulating on Highway 85.

"Especially those who are near the border, it's going to be harder for them," said Lemieux. Still, she supports the N.B. government's decision, given concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

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Canada advised citizens to avoid non - essential travel to China. Air Canada has halted flights to Beijing and Shanghai. North Korea shut its borders to visitors from China on Jan. Taiwan slapped an entry ban to residents of Hubei as well as those from the southern Guangdong province .

Japan has banned North Korean citizens from entering as part of sanctions against North Korea imposed by the Government of Japan, since February 2016. Starting from 1 September 2017, the US Government has banned travel to North Korea on US passports without a special validation, issued

That decision comes as that province confirmed another eight cases of the viral infection, for a total of 26.

Police stationed at the Quebec, P.E.I. and Nova Scotia borders will be authorized to turn people away, Higgs said.

They will collect the identity of travellers allowed to enter the province, as well as their travel plans and contact information, and do follow-ups later, he said. Commercial trucks and people providing essential services will be exempt.

Higgs said travellers can get more information on the border controls by calling 1-800-863-6582.

In line with other Atlantic provinces

New Brunswick's decision is in line with measures adopted in the rest of Eastern Canada.

Prince Edward Island adopted enhanced screening measures, including checkpoints at the Confederation Bridge, Charlottetown airport and Souris ferry terminal, last week.

People travelling through Nova Scotia are also being questioned and told to remain isolated for 14 days, even if they haven't travelled outside Canada.

In contrast, Quebecers are being asked to to self-isolate only if they have been out of the country.

'We will deliver right to the border': B.C. town vows to look after U.S. neighbours during pandemic .
Residents of a small B.C. border town have pledged to help their Alaskan neighbours during the COVID-19 crisis, although the border between Canada and the United States is closed to non-essential travel. Stewart, B.C., with a population of approximately 400 people, acts as a service centre for Hyder, Alaska which has a population of around 80. It is located at the very southern tip of Alaska on the Canada-U.S. border.

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