Rotational workers say tightened travel restrictions in N.S. make it difficult to return home
SYDNEY, N.S. -- Some rotational workers in Nova Scotia say the province's new COVID-19 related restrictions have made it difficult to make it home to their loved ones during their time off.
Jeff Mackinnon says he was supposed to fly home to Halifax this week to see his six-year-old son, however, he'll now be staying in Fort McMurray, Alta.
"He asked me, 'Daddy is 14 days up yet?' I said, 'Yeah buddy, today is supposed to be my day to come home,' said MacKinnon. “He said, 'How much longer?' I told him, 'I don't know.'"
Mackinnon says there is a lot of confusion about the new COVID-19 measures put in place by the Government of Nova Scotia.
"When they rolled out on Friday that we have to provide an application and then, Sunday night, we all get an email saying we have to have a letter from our employer. Well, why wasn't that included on Friday?" asked Mackinnon.
James Bates is also a rotational worker who says he feels people in his line of work are being segregated from their communities.
Bates is planning to return home to Port Morien, N.S. on Saturday, but he received a letter saying if the proper documentation wasn't received, or if they didn't accept it, he would be denied access.
"Premier Rankin clearly stated yesterday that rotational workers would not be denied access to Nova Scotia," said Bates.
When asked during a live COVID-19 news conference on Monday, Premier Iain Rankin said he is aware of the issues and challenges that rotational workers are facing.
"We've had, unfortunately, instances where people tried to get into the province dishonestly and we need to make sure that we're protecting them by having proof. They should be able to get a letter just from their employer stating their status," said Rankin, during a news conference on Monday.
Bates also hopes Public Health in Nova Scotia will start providing more clarity when announcing COVID-19 travel-related cases.
"Everybody just assumes, well, it's got to be the rotational workers bringing this into the province. It's not always the rotational workers," said Bates.
Bates still plans to come home to Nova Scotia this weekend. He says he will follow COVID-19 guidelines and self-isolate when, and if, he's allowed to return home.