Fragile Atlantic bubble casts uncertainty over holiday travel plans
HALIFAX -- With Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador pulling out of the Atlantic bubble for at least two weeks, the upcoming holidays plans of many Atlantic Canadians are now in jeopardy.
Taking a break from his duties at Dalhousie University's Student Union, Jad Ghiz finds himself scrambling to make alternate plans for the coming holiday season.
At the age of 22, the entrepreneurial management student has a surname that's well-known in his home province of Prince Edward Island, and now, he's not sure he'll get home to his family for Christmas.
In the meantime, he remains philosophical about it.
"I know that my family's nearby, they're not too far away," Ghiz says. "If the opportunity arises, I'll go, but I've recognized that a lot of students around us don't have that."
Launched with much fanfare in Atlantic Canada, the Atlantic bubble was largely ignored in other jurisdictions, but respect for the concept grew with case numbers rising elsewhere in the country.
The bubble allowed residents of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island to travel freely within the four provinces, without having to self-isolate.
"The bubble really allowed us certainly a lot more freedom," says teacher Mary Hart.
On the flip-side of the same coin, Hart is also watching her holiday plans crumble.
She and her husband are both Nova Scotians, and for the first time, they'd planned to host her parents for Christmas in P.E.I., and then visit his in Cape Breton.
Now, it's looking more and more like they will spend Christmas in O'Leary -- just them and their daughter.
"It's the three of us here, and my husband's family is in Cape Breton, and our plan is to go there on Boxing Day, for a week, and that may not happen, either," Hart says.