Cape Breton Post
Province plans to open to N.B. without requirements June 30
Nova Scotia plans to lift its modified isolation requirements for people travelling between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on June 30, Premier Iain Rankin said Thursday.
Rankin said he spoke with Atlantic premiers Wednesday, including New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs, as the main Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border crossing remained blocked off from people protesting the isolation requirements, which were annouced less than 24 hours before Nova Scotia opened its borders with Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador without isolation or testing requirements.
The nearly day-long blockade came to an end Wednesday evening after the RCMP moved in on protesters to open both lanes of the TransCanada Highway.
During his call with the Atlantic premiers, Rankin said Higgs shared details about New Brunswick’s border protection plan, which includes screening travellers entering New Brunswick from outside the Atlantic region.
Rankin said he spoke with Higgs again Thursday to let him know about Nova Scotia’s plans to lift the modified isolation requirements for people travelling between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on June 30.
Rankin said public health officials in Nova Scotia have asked “for one more week before we open ourselves to the rest of the country.”
“Because New Brunswick has already done that, we have to wait just a few more days to open up to our neighbour,” he added.
Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, called the situation at the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border “troubling.”
“In the past 16 months, we’ve had to make some very difficult, sometimes unpopular decisions, decisions that have significant impacts on families and businesses. But those interests are always made with the best interest of all Nova Scotians in mind,” he said.
Strang said he understands Nova Scotians are “tired” and just want the COVID19 pandemic to be over, but there are concerns around COVID-19 variants, including the Delta variant, and it is important that more people get vaccinated so Nova Scotia can be better protected.
“Ultimately, I have to make recommendations based on the available science while considering acceptable risk and what is best for everyone’s health and safety,” he said.
Also on June 30, Nova Scotia is scheduled to switch to Phase 3 and open up to the rest of Canada with “modified isolation requirements.” Rankin said anyone entering Nova Scotia from outside of the Atlantic region will have to fill out a safe check-in form and show proof of vaccination.
Nova Scotia reported five new cases of COVID-19
Thursday, which is more new cases reported than in the last three days combined.
All of the cases are in the central zone. Two of the cases are related to travel, two are close contacts and one is under investigation.
One of the cases was reported Wednesday and is connected to Joseph Howe Elementary in Halifax. Since the case was reported after Wednesday’s cut-off for reporting, it appeared on the COVID-19 data dashboard Thursday.
There were also six recoveries reported Thursday.
The province’s active COVID-19 case count is 59. Of those, three people are in hospital COVID-19 units, including one in ICU.
There is limited community spread in the central zone. Meanwhile, the eastern, northern and western zones continue to be monitored for community spread.
On Wednesday, Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 3,868 tests.