Border numbers show steady Atlantic bubble traffic
FREDERICTON -- The last few weeks have been full of reunions, and long lineups at Maritime borders. But as we near week four of the Atlantic bubble, travel has become a bit smoother, at least from a truck drivers’ perspective.
“A dedicated lane for commercial trucks was huge, and now in it’s place, which is probably why it’s moving better now,” says Jean-Marc Picard, of the Atlantic provinces Trucking Association. “There are still some heavier days in traffic which causes it to be a little slower, but it’s nothing like we saw at the beginning.”
In total, just two Atlantic truck drivers have come down with COVID-19. The association says their concerns lie more with the international borders than the Atlantic ones.
Among Maritime borders, it’s tough to say who’s seen the most visitors.
Prince Edward Island has seen 42,894 vehicles travel onto the island by both the Confederation Bridge and the ferry since July 3rd, according to Chief Health Officer Heather Morrison.
New Brunswick wasn’t able to give the total numbers of visitors since July 3, but says in the last seven days, 55,073 personal vehicles have crossed into the province from Nova Scotia and P.E.I.
Nova Scotia says they are not tracking the number of visitors, because the purpose of the Atlantic bible is ‘to allow people to travel freely in the region’.
“I do think that there are people travelling from other provinces, but one thing about the Atlantic region is that there’s a lot of family connections,” says Krista Ross, CEO of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce. “So perhaps they are travelling throughout the Atlantic bubble but not necessarily taking advantage of hotel stays, restaurants and those sort of things.”
Krista Ross says she’s hearing some businesses say they’ve seen an increase in people through their doors, but many are attributing that to New Brunswickers travelling throughout the process.
She says one hotel says they credit the Atlantic bubble with 44 room nights booked since July 3.
“I think there’s a lot of people that are anxious and conscious of spending their money at this time, because we don’t know what the future looks like financially and economically," says Ross.
On Friday, New Brunswick provincial parks will have a better idea on if the Atlantic bubble has had an effect on their visitors.
New Brunswick’s bubble is scheduled to expand slightly on Saturday. Two Quebec municipalities, across from Edmundston and Campbellton, will be able to travel freely into the province.