Inconsistencies linger at Maritime borders
HALIFAX -- Over a month since the Atlantic Bubble began, there are still speed bumps at Maritime borders. While traffic and wait times have improved, residents and visitors say they continue to experience procedural inconsistencies when entering other Atlantic provinces.
At the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border, out-of-bubble travellers – like Stoughton Massachusetts resident, Ben Chisholm – are flagged with a hand signal.
On Wednesday, Chisolm travelled from the United States to visit his wife in Antigonish, N.S. and notes his entry into New Brunswick was much different than his entry into Nova Scotia.
“It took longer at the New Brunswick border because they really went over everything,” says Chisholm.
When entering Nova Scotia, individuals from outside the Atlantic Bubble are pulled aside and questioned. Additionally, they are given information and asked to sign a declaration confirming they will quarantine for 14 days.
However, crossing the border is a different experience for individuals from inside the bubble.
“All I do is roll down my window, pass it to them,” says Port Elgin, N.B., resident Tom Fagan, detailing his experience dealing with border officials. “The last time I was through, I didn’t even. I just had it [the car] in low gear, and I just kept going and kept going. He looked at it; he said ‘you’re ok Fagan, go.’”
Fagan, who uses the Tidnish crossing once a week to shop in Amherst, N.S., notes the process of crossing the border has become progressively easier since borders opened on July 3. However, while wait times are better, Sackville Mayor John Higham hears frustrating inconsistencies are persistent at the border.
“They’re not sure what to expect,” says Higham. “What I’ve heard from a variety of people, is that it’s still different every time. The individual who stops and talks to them, they all have different understandings of what they’re supposed to be doing.”
Meanwhile, some individuals don’t make it past the border at all. On Tuesday, 190 of the nearly 13,000 personal vehicles attempting to cross into New Brunswick were turned away.