UPDATED AT 5:05 p.m. on 04/01/2020

Ontario residents cannot go over to Québec for shopping or other non-essential activities until further notice.

As part of an increased effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, the Québec government ordered a stop to all non-essential travel into the western part of the province on Wednesday morning.  By 12:30 p.m., the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) had set up a checkpoint on the Long Sault Bridge.

The checkpoints are not permanent.  They will be used at random and temporary intervals to slow incoming, unnecessary traffic into the western region of Québec.  The Long Sault bridge checkpoint had been removed by approximately 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon but could return at any time without notice.

SQ officers are questioning drivers entering Québec about what the reason for their trip is.  If the reason is not for work or humanitarian reasons, drivers are being told to turn their vehicle around and return to Ontario.

There is no checkpoint to enter Ontario at this time.  Québec residents who go to Ontario for work or other business will be permitted to return home.  Those returning to their homes in Québec could be asked for proof of residence or for proof that they work in Ontario.

The checkpoint resulted in a long wait for vehicles entering Québec.  Traffic on the Québec-bound Long Sault Bridge was down to a single lane and vehicles were backed up onto Chenail Island on Wednesday afternoon.

Access to the MRC d’Argenteuil and other parts of western Québec from outside the Montréal area is also being restricted with checkpoints on highways in order to keep COVID-19 from spreading outside Montréal where most of Québec’s cases are occurring.

Checkpoints have also gone up on the bridges between Ottawa and Gatineau.

Police officers questioning a driver at the Long Sault Bridge checkpoint. Photo: James Morgan

Trucks and police vehicles lined up on the Long Sault Bridge on April 1, 2020. Photo: James Morgan