Nova Scotia Closes Border to New Brunswickers
Nova Scotia has closed the border to most, but not all people travelling from New Brunswick.
Evidence of the UK variant of the coronavirus, coupled with New Brunswick COVID numbers led Dr. Robert Strang to recommend the strongest defensive action yet offered at the Maritime crossing.
The former premier, Stephen McNeil was always quick to say the border was never closed, but beginning tomorrow morning, people cannot enter Nova Scotia unless travel is essential or they are residents coming home.
The restriction, announced today, is aimed specifically at New Brunswickers and people further west. In a somewhat vague statement, the new regulation seems to exclude people from PEI, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Premier Iain Rankin said, “This is not the time for people to come to Nova Scotia for anything other than essential travel. Given that the pandemic is now being driven by variants that transmit more easily, this strong action is necessary to protect Nova Scotians.”
The Chief Medical Officer says, “We won't turn away permanent residents of Nova Scotia if they travel, but we are giving strong direction to not travel unless it is absolutely necessary.” Dr. Robert Strang says, “This is a critical time for us to cut off travel-related cases at the source. I am asking all Nova Scotians to put their plans aside and follow this direction.”
The following types of travel from outside Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador are considered essential:
- people who live in Nova Scotia but their primary employment is in another province
- federally approved temporary foreign workers
- people who need to participate in-person in a legal proceeding in another province
- post-secondary students coming to study in Nova Scotia
- post-secondary students returning to their primary or family residence in Nova Scotia and parents who accompany them
- parents picking up a student in Nova Scotia to take them home
- people who can demonstrate that they have a new permanent address in Nova Scotia (as of April 21) and are moving here permanently
- people traveling for child custody reasons following the child custody protocol
- people who are exempt from self-isolation following the exempt traveler protocol
- people traveling between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for work, school, or children in child care, following conditions in the protocol for travel between these provinces
The province also noted that details are being finalized on further requirements for people who must isolate after essential travel.
Rotational workers must now fully isolate when they first arrive in Nova Scotia. Once they receive their first negative test result, they can switch to modified self-isolation. Specialized workers will only be allowed for critical infrastructure work.
Travel from outside Atlantic Canada will not be allowed for funerals for a four-week period and will only be approved under exceptional circumstances for end-of-life visits.
Anyone isolating in Nova Scotia after travel within Canada should get tested at the beginning and end of their isolation.
Anyone who is not required to isolate should get tested three times in their first 14 days home in Nova Scotia.
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