Atlantic bubble ‘precarious’ for April 19, says P.E.I. premier

Atlantic bubble 'precarious' for April 19, says P.E.I. premier

The opening of provincial borders in an Atlantic bubble this month is looking “precarious,” P.E.I. Premier Dennis King said Tuesday, as Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin said he is leaning toward pushing the change to May.

King was speaking at the regular provincial pandemic briefing Tuesday morning.

No final decision has been made by regional premiers, but the growing number of cases of COVID-19, and in particular variants of concern, around the country had King expressing doubts about the stage of freer travel for Atlantic residents that had been planned to begin April 19.

“The landscape is very different today than it was four weeks ago,” said King.

“Things aren’t going our way. The situation is difficult and I would say that the Atlantic bubble opening on April 19 would be precarious.”

Nova Scotia brings back border rules

As King was speaking in Charlottetown, his counterpart in Nova Scotia was also sounding a warning note. 

Rankin said border restrictions would be reintroduced for people crossing from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia, due to rising case counts in New Brunswick.

He also said the bubble is “unlikely” to open April 19.

There was a lot of optimism about the possibility of freer travel with no obligation to isolate when the premiers set the April 19 target on March 18.

As recently as last week, King said in the P.E.I. Legislature that the Atlantic bubble was still on track to open as planned. But he cautioned that things seem to change daily in the pandemic.

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He made a similar remark Tuesday, saying that they would need to “look at the science and data as it is presented to us each and every day.”

Currently, New Brunswick has 145 active cases. There are 46 in Nova Scotia. Prince Edward Island has six and Newfoundland and Labrador’s website is showing 10.

More from CBC P.E.I.

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