Walpole Island officials say that effective immediately, the First Nation will be restricting non-resident travel over the Walpole Island First Nation bridge to essential traffic only.
For those individuals who will be crossing onto Walpole to access essential services – be advised that you must go directly to the service that you are accessing and leave immediately with no additional stops or visits.
Additionally, traffic across the bridge between the hours of 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. will be restricted to residents of Walpole Island First Nation and emergency services. In order to enforce this, a 24-hour checkpoint will be established starting this evening at 7 p.m.
Those without a valid reason for crossing onto Walpole Island at any hour will be turned away.
The Walpole Island Emergency Control Group is also urging cottagers to stay away from Walpole Island until further notice.
Walpole officials said the restrictions are to keep the First Nation’s elders and most vulnerable members safe from COVID-19.
“Our hearts and thoughts go out to our neighbouring communities who have begun to see cases or are seeing an increase in cases of COVID-19. We are taking the action of limiting access to non-residents in order to further protect our members from the spread,” Chief Dan Miskokomon said in a media release. “Given the high prevalence of underlying health conditions, our community is especially vulnerable to this virus.”