Premier pauses NL participation in Atlantic Bubble for two weeks

Grant Boone
November 26, 2020

Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island are temporarily pulling out of the Atlantic bubble, citing an uptick in COVID-19 cases in other provinces.

"So there are a couple of provinces, both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, that have identified outbreaks and Nova Scotia has been clear that they have some community transmission as well", Fitzgerald said. The province now has 23 active cases. I respect the decision of the provinces of Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador to take further steps at this time.

Rules were also tightened for Newfoundland and Labrador rotational workers Monday.

P.E.I. reported one new case Monday, with officials saying it was related to travel. "People coming to do essential work will continue to be eligible to work-isolate". Workers returning to the province from a job site now have to wait seven days to get a COVID-19 test rather than five. P.E.I. has seen a total of 69 cases, with no deaths and no hospitalizations.

"It is likely that P.E.I. will have cases related to exposure of outbreaks now underway elsewhere in Canada, " Morrison said.

"So, in other words, I am concerned that it may already be here in some people", said Morrison. "I've said before that COVID-19 is knocking at our door and, in recent days, that knocking has become louder and stronger".

Non-island residents will once again have to apply for pre-travel approval before crossing to P.E.I., including a plan for self-isolation, Morrison said.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, all visitors to the province from the Atlantic provinces will have to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival, just like visitors from other parts of Canada, though they will not have to apply for a travel exemption.

Any Islanders who will be travelling outside the region for Christmas must apply for re-entry approval by December 1 and indicate when they are re-entering, so that extra monitoring staff can be hired if necessary.

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"As I noted last week, Islanders should only leave P.E.I. if it is absolutely necessary, such has for work or medical appointments".

Testing has been arranged and the student's class is self-isolating.

"The Atlantic bubble has been a source of pride and people outside our region have taken note", Furey said at a news conference Monday morning.

These precautions should continue for the next two weeks.

As of Monday, Nova Scotia reports 51 active cases, including 11 new ones.

Chief of Nursing Marion Dowling said that any P.E.I. health staff who have travelled outside of the province in the past 14 days should monitor for symptoms.

If travelling from outside of the region for compassionate reasons such as the end of life of a loved one, formal permission needs to be provided by the administration of the facility where the family member is being cared for and by P.E.I.'s Department of Public Safety.

Morrison said a decision on what happens when the two-week pause ends on December 7 will depend largely on the situation in neighbouring provinces.

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