Bubble burst; inconsistent reopening dates causing confusion for Atlantic travellers
HALIFAX -- With vaccination rates climbing and border restrictions loosening across the Atlantic region, many travellers are getting anxious to plan their summer getaways.
But for some, staggered reopening dates are making that planning a more difficult task.
At this time last year, all four Atlantic premiers were preparing to open the Atlantic Bubble. But this year, each province has been moving forward with individual reopening plans, each with a different start date.
“On one side of things, you sort of understand that each province needs to do things a little bit differently,” says Moncton resident Jen Williston. “But you can’t have one province say ‘Yes, you can come in and out,’ and then have another say ‘Well, no you can't';.”
As of Wednesday at midnight, residents of Atlantic Canada can enter New Brunswick without testing or self-isolating.
Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador will open their borders to Atlantic travellers on June 23, but the process is slightly more complicated in P.E.I., where Atlantic Canadians with one dose of vaccine who fit under one of the province’s approved travel streams can enter on June 23, but those who don’t fit into a travel stream will have to wait until June 27.
It’s a lot of information for Maritimers to take in.
“I don’t know if I can go to one province, and if I can, can I come back?” asks Moncton resident Julie McGivery. “And do I need to swab? I have both vaccinations…can I go? Can I not go? So it’s still unclear to most people.”
The mayor of Amherst, N.S. questions the lack of consistency across the Atlantic provinces.
“I was much more a fan of when the four Atlantic premiers worked collaboratively and made decisions collectively, and I think the fact that that’s not happening now is not the best way of going about this,” says Dr. David Kogon.
New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs says he’s confident those inconsistencies won’t last long.
“I just think we’re only talking about a couple of days, or a couple of weeks at the outside here, when we could have a little difference of situation in each province, but we’re all going to get there,” says Higgs.
Those looking to arrange summer visits hope the coming days will bring some clarity to their travel plans.
“You don’t want to break the rules, but we want to see our family,” says Jen Williston.
Trying not to break rules that vary from province to province.