Fully Vaccinated Travellers Entering MB Exempt from 14-Day Quarantine

On June 10, 2021 the Manitoba Government announced that effective June 11, 2021, all persons who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival in Manitoba, subject to new self-isolation public health orders.

Under the self-isolation orders issued on January 8, details of which are discussed in our previous blog, MB Issues Public Health Orders Imposing Self-Isolation for Persons Entering Manitoba, persons entering Manitoba from western provinces and northwestern Ontario were expressly exempt from the self-isolation requirement.

On January 28, the Self-Isolation Orders were extended to travellers from all Canadian provinces and territories, as a result of the province’s gradual reopening and in light of new variants of the virus.

UPDATE: The province issued new public health orders on June 10, which terminate and replace the previous self-isolation orders issued on January 28, and will remain in effect until terminated (the “Self-Isolation Orders”). Effective June 11 at 12:01 a.m., the Self-Isolation Orders exempt persons fully vaccinated against COVID-19 from self-isolating upon entering Manitoba.

Individuals and employers will need to take the necessary steps to ensure compliance with the new Self-Isolation Orders, which can be accessed here. Employers with interprovincial operations should consider the impact that these orders may have on their employees’ ability to travel to and from Manitoba.

Summary of Self-Isolation Orders

The new Self-Isolation Orders still require that all persons entering or arriving in Manitoba, including persons entering or arriving from other provinces and territories in Canada, must self-isolate in their home, hotel or other residence and stay at that location for 14 days or for the duration of their stay. Such individuals must travel directly to the home, hotel or residence in which they intend to reside for the self-isolation period.

Persons self-isolating may only leave their home, hotel or residence to receive urgent/emergency medical care, attend a medical appointment that cannot be postponed or undertake essential errands where home delivery is not possible. They must maintain physical distancing of two metres from other persons and immediately return to their residence upon completing the appointment/errand.

If a person subject to the Self-Isolation Orders develops symptoms of COVID-19, they must immediately contact a health-care provider.

However, the new Self-Isolation Orders do not apply to persons who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, if they are not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19.

Further, the new Self-Isolation Orders do not apply to persons under the age of 12 who or entering or arriving in Manitoba with one or more persons over 12 years of age who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, if they are not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19.

A person is considered to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if they have received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine for COVID-19 or two doses of any combination of those vaccines within a 16-week period and at least 14 days have passed since they received their last vaccine; or they have received the Janssen vaccine and at least 14 days have passed since they were vaccinated.

The following individuals, among others set out in the Self-Isolation Orders, are also exempt from the self-isolation requirement if they are not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19:

  • persons engaged in providing vital services in Manitoba, including, among others, health-care providers and emergency services personnel;
  • persons who are transporting goods and materials into or through Manitoba;
  • persons who are travelling directly through Manitoba to another province, if they only stop in Manitoba to obtain gasoline, food or other necessities;
  • aircraft and train crew members;
  • persons who reside outside Manitoba who are engaged in the construction or maintenance of critical infrastructure in Manitoba;
  • persons who reside outside of Manitoba who are engaged in the construction or maintenance of any building, structure or other project in Manitoba, if the failure to complete the construction or maintenance on a timely basis would pose a threat to persons, property or the environment;
  • persons travelling into Manitoba for the purpose of participating in a trial or other judicial proceeding;
  • Manitoba residents who regularly travel outside Manitoba to areas close to the Manitoba border to work, attend an educational institution, access health services, attend at their property or business or for other essential purposes, if they limit their travel and use of local services to a minimum, and comply with all applicable public health restrictions in the jurisdiction in question;
  • non-Manitoba residents who reside in areas that are close to the Manitoba border and who regularly travel into Manitoba to work, attend an educational institution, access health services, attend at their property or business or for other essential purposes, if they limit their travel and use of local services to a minimum, and comply with all applicable orders made under the Public Health Act;
  • persons travelling into Manitoba for emergency medical purposes; or
  • persons who have completed the period of isolation required under an emergency order made under the Quarantine Act (Canada) elsewhere in Canada, if they travel directly to Manitoba immediately after their required period of isolation.

To note, with respect to persons engaged in providing vital services in Manitoba, if such individuals leave Manitoba, they are only exempt from self-isolation upon re-entering Manitoba if the sole purpose of their travel outside Manitoba is for carrying out their employment or official duties. Further, critical infrastructure is defined under the orders as water control works, highways, bridges, hydro-electric generating stations and electrical infrastructure, waste water treatment and sewage facilities and telephone and Internet services.

Those who fail to self-isolate in accordance with the Self-Isolation Orders could be subject to fines for non-compliance in the amount of $1,296 for individuals, sole proprietorships and partnerships, and $5,000 for corporations.

All international travellers must continue to abide by the federal quarantine requirements and provide a negative COVID-19 test before boarding a flight to Canada. They must also be tested for COVID-19 immediately upon arrival in Manitoba and subsequently self-isolate for 14 days.

MLT Aikins will continue to monitor the situation and keep employers apprised of any further details. Employers considering the impact of the new Self-Isolation Orders and how they apply to their business should contact a member of our labour and employment team in Winnipeg.

Note: This article is of a general nature only and is not exhaustive of all possible legal rights or remedies. In addition, laws may change over time and should be interpreted only in the context of particular circumstances such that these materials are not intended to be relied upon or taken as legal advice or opinion. Readers should consult a legal professional for specific advice in any particular situation.