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Border between Ontario and Quebec reopens Wednesday

James Morgan
Ontario Provincial Police question drivers from Quebec to Hawkesbury, Ont.

Effective Wednesday, the border between Ontario and Québec will be open to all traffic again. It was closed on April 19 to prevent the spread of variants of COVID-19.

The measure requiring Québec residents to isolate for 14 days at home after returning from Ontario has also been lifted. People from Ontario may go to restaurants in Québec as long as they follow the rules in place for limits on the number of people allowed at each table from the same or different households.

All vehicles not registered in Ontario have had to stop at Ontario Provincial Police checkpoints and state their reason for entering the province. Going to work, seeking medical care, childcare, child custody and caring for sick family members were acceptable reasons.

Vehicles registered in Ontario have been subjected to periodic checkpoints by the Sûreté du Québec where officers have questioned drivers for their reasons for entering Québec. The same reasons for Québec residents to visit Ontario have been accepted for Ontario residents entering Québec.

Commercial transportation has been exempted from the checkpoints.

For nearly two months, the checkpoints have been a challenge for residents of the area along the provincial boundary. In Ottawa and Gatineau, many federal employees live in one province, but work in the other and had to endure long lineups for checkpoints while driving to work or taking the bus each day.

In Hawkesbury, Ont., Grenville, Que. and the surrounding region, the boundary restrictions caused inconveniences for many residents because of the strong family, social and community ties on either side of the Long Sault Bridge over the Ottawa River, which forms the provincial boundary.

As of Monday, in Ontario there were 5,374 active COVID-19 cases, 447 more than the previous day. According to the Institut national de santé publique du Québec, there were 1,745 active cases of COVID-19 across Quebec as of Monday, 123 new cases than the day before.

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