Ontario animal owners to get reprieve from New Brunswick’s COVID hotels

Some Ontarians attempting to move their families and their animals to New Brunswick are getting some relief from rules that seemed to imply they had to take their pets or livestock to quarantine hotels.

Over the weekend, New Brunswick announced that it would allow some exemptions to its rule that travellers entering the province would have to spend several days at designated hotels.

“We were getting worried, we were getting close to the date here,” said Tammy Stata, who is moving with her husband, two children, four dogs, two cats, two rats and a guinea pig from Minden on May 12.

The family can’t stay — their property sale closes on that day, and they will take possession of their New Brunswick property on the same day. And looking at bringing all of those animals into a hotel room would have been chaos, she said.

“We had our deal done in March. We were kind of panicking, because we can’t afford to go to a hotel and house all of these dogs, and a 28-foot trailer,” Stata said.

Canadian veteran Mathew Ricard, who first raised this issue last week in a CTV News Toronto interview, had to vacate his property on Sunday with 10 goats, 20 chickens, two turkeys, a lamb, four cats and two dogs in tow.

Ricard said he’d been told by New Brunswick health officials that he would likely get an exemption to be able to quarantine on his new farm — but didn’t have a choice not to leave. 

“Right this second — I’m a bit stressed, yeah,” he told CTV News Toronto by phone near the Quebec border.

Hotels have been required for international travellers since January. Many of them have come in on flights, with a few bags apiece. 

But land travellers moving themselves between provinces can have trailers full of goods and animals too. 

That presented a barrier for some families as the hotels told CTV News that while they had room for a handful of dogs or cats, more unusual animals including goats, horses and sheep can’t stay.

Over the weekend, the New Brunswick government announced, “There may be individual cases that require an alternative to a specific hotel as a designated facility, such as a stand-alone residence. That will be determined on a case-by-case basis.”

But when CTV News asked for clarity on what factors would be considered, the government was silent.

New Brunswick realtor Austin Drisdelle said he had been told one of the factors was that if anyone coming into the province has a home that they purchased, that could be an option for the traveller to self-isolate.

“They’re doing this on a case by case basis as there’s some people that have different circumstances than others — people coming in with livestock, they can’t tie the livestock to the back of the trailer in the hotel parking lot,” he said. 


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