The Federal government has heard the calls for some slack on COVID regulations from the residents of Stewart and Hyder, announcing today that the BC and Alaska communities will be a pair of a number of border straddling communities to see some relief from quarantine regulations.
The loosening of the rules for Hyder and Stewart came this afternoon as the Federal government extended the border closure in other jurisdictions along our shared border with the United States until the end of November.
The decision to keep the doors closed for another thirty days was announced by Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and Minister of Health Patty Hajdu.
The government has also made some practical adjustments to provisions allowing limited Canada-U.S. cross-border travel, in a few specific circumstances. Effective October 31, 2020, residents of Campobello Island, New Brunswick; Stewart, British Columbia; Northwest Angle, Minnesota; and Hyder, Alaska will be exempt from mandatory 14-day quarantine only to access the necessities of life (e.g., food, medical services) from the nearest Canadian or American community.
In addition, students from Canada and the U.S. who regularly cross the border to attend school, along with one driver, and children who are subject to shared custody arrangements, along with one parent, are exempt from mandatory 14-day quarantine. The new provisions to ease pressures related to cross-border students are conditional upon support from provincial and local public health authorities.
As we outlined earlier this week and in the months previous, the situation on the border in the Northwest corner of the province had kept a number of Hyder children from attending school in Stewart, as well as to limit the ability of Hyder residents to stock provisions.
You can learn more about their quest towards today's welcome news from the local border sharing residents Bear Bubble Facebook page here.
Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach has been among the many Northwest residents lending their name and actions to turning the Federal government around on the local situation, he commented on the development of the day through his Social media feed.
You can review more of his work on the Hyder/Stewart file, as well as other federal notes from our House of Commons archive page.