LOCAL NEWS – MARCH 29, 2020: BLANC-SABLON, QC.
A new COVID-19 directive has been put in place for the region as the three main entry points are now being patrolled and will be overseen by the Sûreté du Québec in Blanc-Sablon as of 4pm on Saturday March 28, 2020.
I spoke this morning with local SQ officers, Jonathan Harvey and Jean Blais, to gather information on what will be the new process that people should expect when arriving to the region by checkpoint. The new protocols will be the same for anyone arriving at the Blanc-Sablon, Quebec – Labrador border as well as at the federal dock in Blanc-Sablon and for the flights arriving at the airport. These measures were outlined by the Secrétariat de l'Organisation de la sécurité civile du Québec, Minister of Public Security.
Here are the guidelines that have been set for now regarding the management of all checkpoints by the Sûreté du Québec and their designated security agents when persons arrive at any of the three checkpoints:
Officers will approach vehicles and arriving airline passengers to answer a series of questions
1. Does the person or persons have symptoms related to COVID-19 (eg, cough, fever, etc.)
2. If the person has no symptoms and meets one of the following criteria, they may be allowed to pass the checkpoint if:
• you work for an essential service;
• you are a carrier of equipment and goods;
• you have humanitarian reasons (eg visiting or rendering essential services to your parents);
• you are a volunteer for an essential service;
• you are a delivery driver;
• you must make purchases of essential products, such as medicines;
• you seek medical attention if the region where you live is not served by a hospital or a pharmacy;
• the police make judgment that the reason is sufficient at their discretion.
Should those arriving at the checkpoints fail to meet the criteria, they will not be permitted entry. Individuals who are non-residents will be escorted from the border checkpoint to the airport or ferry. Individuals arriving from the ferry or at the airport who are not local residents and are going to Labrador, will be escorted to the border. Local residents arriving at any of the 3 check points who are not part of an essential service will be reminded to self-isolate for 14 days.
The Sûreté du Québec in Blanc-Sablon are also aware that at this time there are some curious people who come to the border or ferry check points just to see what’s going on. This is a new situation that we have not encountered as a region, and although understanding, the Sûreté du Québec would like to remind people that if you approach a check point then you will be questioned. You are asked to please respect the safety of everyone and not come in close contact with the officers or security if you are not intending to pass the check point. They thank everyone from the Quebec and Labrador region for your collaboration in this matter and wish everyone to remain safe by respecting health directives and protocols being put in place for our region.