Several isolated Canada-U.S. border communities exempted from COVID-19 quarantine

The federal government has lifted the 14-day quarantine requirement upon entry to Canada for residents of several isolated border communities.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and Health Minister Patty Hajdu announced the changes in a media release Friday evening.

The new rules apply to residents of Stewart, B.C., Hyder, AK., Campobello Island, N.B. and the Northwest Angle of Minnesota.

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Under the changes, residents of those communities will be able to cross the border in order to “access the necessities of life (e.g. food, medical services) from the nearest Canadian or American Community.”

Click to play video 'Petition to give Minnesota’s Northwest Angle to Canada' 2:36 Petition to give Minnesota’s Northwest Angle to Canada

Petition to give Minnesota’s Northwest Angle to Canada

Residents of communities such as Hyder, which has no road access to the United States, and Campobello, which has no road access to Canada, have pleaded for months for a change, arguing that they have become isolated from critical services.

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The change does not include Point Roberts, a Washington state community of about 1,300 people just south of Metro Vancouver that also lacks road access to the U.S. and has been pleading for an exemption.

Federal officials said they were also scrapping the quarantine rules for Canadian and U.S. children who regularly transit the border to go to school and kids who are in a cross-border custody arrangement.

Those changes, however, will be dependent on approval from provincial and local health officials, according to the release.

The closure of the border to non-essential travel for other Canadians and U.S. residents was extended again Friday to Nov. 30.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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