New Brunswick stops screenings at borders for residents of Atlantic provinces
MASSTOWN, N.S. -- Travelling through the Atlantic bubble will be a little smoother on Friday.
Drivers entering New Brunswick from Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island no longer need to be screened at the border.
New Brunswick's premier says the easing of restrictions applies to all provinces within the Atlantic bubble.
"This change will allow us to focus our resources where they are needed -- included screening at other borders and ensuring compliance with guidelines," said Blaine Higgs.
Higgs is hopeful this will help ease long lineups between Nova Scotia, P.E.I., and New Brunswick, especially during holiday weekends.
The mayor of Amherst, N.S. welcomes the changes.
"Economically and socially, people live in one community, work in the other, family, friends, so we wanted to get that open," said David Kogon.
Kogon doesn't want to see screenings dropped at the Nova Scotia border just yet -- especially with the COVID-19 outbreak in Moncton.
The deputy mayor of neighbouring Sackville, N.B., says while he understands Nova Scotians are concerned, he would like to see traffic flowing freely on both sides of the border but understands this is a fluid situation.
"It'll take a few weeks whether we'll know if there is any community spread in Moncton, but it's a real concern and I'm going to pay very strict attention," Kogon said.
About 45 minutes away from the border, the Masstown Market is a popular shopping destination.
Shoppers there on Thursday said they'd like to see the province tighten up its border screenings until the outbreak in Moncton is under control.
"Don't ruin what we have here -- you know, because everyone seems to be following the rules and doing what they're supposed to be doing," said one shopper.
Meanwhile, Higgs says anyone entering New Brunswick from outside the Atlantic bubble must pre-register before they arrive so that the province can follow up with travellers.