When the reopening of the regions was announced on this Wednesday, the Deputy Premier of Quebec and Minister of Public Safety, Geneviève Guilbault, gave more details regarding the different access points to Ontario on inter-provincial bridges.
In particular, she insisted that the borders were never completely closed outside Gatineau since the start of the crisis.
These are random control points on the five bridges that Gatineau shares with the Ontario shore, and they will be maintained, said Geneviève Guilbault. Gatineau is in a “to be determined later” category, but indeed there are other points of contact with Ontario. It must be said that the border with Ontario has never been officially closed, it is important to clarify this. There was surveillance that was done, we wanted to avoid non-essential movements. (...) but there was not necessarily systematic surveillance either between the other Outaouais contact points and Ontario. We must not have the impression that the border was closed and that it will reopen, but we are maintaining those of Gatineau, because there is a large volume there, and there was still a concern given the situation in Ontario.
The roadside checkpoints in the Outaouais will be lifted from May 11th, except for Gatineau, if the situation surrounding COVID-19 remains stable.
The Warden of the MRC Pontiac, Jane Toller, has also confirmed that the checkpoints between the Pontiac and Ontario, in Portage-du-Fort and L’Isle-aux-Allumettes, as well as the one between Quyon and Bristol are included in this announcement.
In Quebec, there are now 25,594 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 837 over the past 24 hrs. In Outaouais, there are 273, of which less than 5 cases are located in the réseau local de service (RLS) of Pontiac (which includes the MRC Pontiac and the municipality of Pontiac). Note that no municipalities in the MRC Pontiac have been affected by the virus to date.
To learn more about the novel coronavirus, the public is invited to consult Québec.ca/coronavirus.
For more information, you can call the designated COVID-19 phone line 819 644-4545 or 1 877 644-4545 (toll free).