Is the bubble about to burst? N.L. increases restrictions on travellers from N.S.

·2 min read

As the second wave of COVID-19 reaches eastward, Newfoundland and Labrador has introduced new restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus within the Atlantic bubble.

The Department of Health has recommended against non-essential travel entirely and rules for those arriving from Nova Scotia suggest people should isolate away from others when back in the province.

"For the first 14 days after arrival, people should not attend any gatherings, should avoid crowded public places, and should wear a mask when in contact with individuals from outside their household bubble," read a news release from the health department on Sunday.

The department also says when Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are in Nova Scotia, they should limit contact with others, avoid crowds and large gatherings, practice physical distancing, wear a mask as needed and practice proper hand hygiene.

The new rules come after a man in the Eastern Health region tested positive for the virus on Friday after returning home to the province from Nova Scotia.

The following day saw record increases in COVID-19 cases around Atlantic Canada. New Brunswick saw 23 new cases Saturday — more than any other day since the pandemic started — while Nova Scotia saw eight.

There were 11 new cases in Nova Scotia on Sunday, the most in a single day since May 4. There were also 8 cases in New Brunswick Sunday.

Opposition calls for review of bubble

Mark Quinn/CBC
Mark Quinn/CBC

But what does it all mean for the Atlantic bubble in the future?

Opposition Leader Ches Crosbie is calling for further increased safety measures, including reassessing "the safety of our continued participation in the Atlantic bubble" as a result of community spread in Nova Scotia.

"Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have made many personal sacrifices in the face of COVID-19. Government must take swift action as we stare down a second wave of this pandemic," he said in a release Sunday.

Crosbie is also calling for point of entry testing and tightening exemptions for essential workers.

The health department says "Newfoundland and Labrador remains part of the Atlantic Bubble at this time," but further measures may need to be implemented if the situation changes.

Premier Andrew Furey and Chief Medical Officer of Health Janice Fitzgerald are set to speak to the media Monday, and the premier could address changes to the bubble.

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