Unvaccinated residents of southern Manitoba can now re-enter Canada without being tested or being required to quarantine upon their return.
A cabinet order affecting mandatory vaccinations, testing and quarantine of international travellers expired first thing this morning. It also spells the end of insisting travellers use the ArriveCAN app.
Wayne Anderson is Reeve for the Rural Municipality of Piney. He says he is very glad that border restrictions have lifted.
"The border closures were unnecessary in my opinion and I don't know why they did that," says Anderson. "That was just terrible."
According to Anderson, these restrictions were extremely cumbersome for their elderly population, and it was the required use of the ArriveCAN app that was most frustrating.
"We have very poor cell service," he explains. "If you had to do the ArriveCAN app and you don't have a cell phone or if you're an elderly person with no computer skills how do you do an ArriveCAN app?"
Anderson says many of his residents drive down to Roseau, Minnesota to see a doctor. But, during these last two years, a lot of them opted to skip their doctor's appointments rather than go through the hassle of following government-imposed orders. He notes trying to then find a doctor in Steinbach or Winnipeg proved to be very difficult for his residents, due to a shortage of physicians.
"It's been really trying times for our elderly people," he adds.
When asked whether he was surprised when news came out of Ottawa that these border restrictions would be lifted October 1st, Anderson says he knew that eventually, they would have to come around and see the common sense of it.
"But it sure takes them a long time to change their minds," he points out.
And, now that those travel mandates have been eliminated, Anderson says it should be business as usual again for his residents.