Nova Scotia

What Nova Scotians need to know about travelling within Atlantic Canada

Nova Scotia is opening up its borders (to varying degrees) to the rest of Atlantic Canada starting today. But it's a far cry from last year's Atlantic bubble. Here's what you need to know if you're planning to explore the region this summer.

N.L., and P.E.I. require people register in advance, P.E.I. plans to test some visitors

Vehicles line up at the border between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia during last year's Atlantic bubble. (Brett Ruskin/CBC News file photo)

Nova Scotia is opening its borders to other parts of Atlantic Canada at 8 a.m. AT today, but the rules are very different from the Atlantic bubble that allowed people to criss-cross borders freely last summer. 

Each province has set its own entry requirements. While New Brunswick has been open since last week, Newfoundland and Labrador will welcome Nova Scotians starting today and P.E.I. won't open to regional travellers until Sunday.

Heading to New Brunswick

The New Brunswick border opened to Nova Scotians on June 16 at midnight, as it did to people from across the country. Visitors from within the Atlantic region won't need to self-isolate or be tested at the border. 

Though travellers from outside the Atlantic provinces are required to register, phase two of the province's reopening plan states Nova Scotia residents do not have to. 

At the border, people are advised to have on hand a valid photo ID and proof of Nova Scotia residency.

More details about entering New Brunswick are available here

Wednesday morning, part of Nova Scotia's Trans-Canada Highway remained shut down because of a protest over border restrictions announced Tuesday by the provincial government.

Also, keep in mind that Nova Scotians returning home after visiting New Brunswick could be subject to modified quarantine depending on their vaccination status. 

P.E.I. opens to N.S. June 27

Starting today, people from Atlantic Canada who previously applied to travel to P.E.I., such as seasonal residents, can go to the island without self-isolating. However, that only applies to people who qualified through certain travel streams. 

Starting June 27, all fully or partially vaccinated Nova Scotia residents can travel to P.E.I. without any self-isolation, but they must apply for a "P.E.I. pass" first. 

People who have been vaccinated for 21 days or more can fill out an online form in advance of their visit. It's supposed to speed up the entry process at borders. The provincial website is warning there is currently a large volume of applicants. People are advised to apply a week or two before their arrival.

The form requires people to upload a photo of two IDs as well as proof of their vaccination status. However, people should black out unneeded private details before uploading images of their IDs. 

This photo shows the checkpoint on the P.E.I. side of the Confederation Bridge. Anyone wanting to travel to the Island starting June 27 is advised to apply for a PEI Pass, which will include their proof-of-vaccine information. (Kirk Pennell/CBC)

Once people are approved, they can visit P.E.I. numerous times with the same pass. Approved travellers must bring their pass with them as well as their photo IDs. 

People who have been visiting Nova Scotia for more than 14 days can also apply, provided they haven't contracted or experienced symptoms of COVID-19. 

Anyone arriving in P.E.I. should be prepared to be tested at border checkpoints. The province is advising that it will test two people per household with a rapid test that uses a lower nasal swab. The province will only call people who test positive and it said those individuals should hear within two hours. 

More information on P.EI.'s rules is available here

Travelling to Newfoundland and Labrador

Anyone from Atlantic Canada arriving in Newfoundland and Labrador starting today will not be required to self-isolate or be tested. They will not be required to show proof of vaccination either. 

However, as with New Brunswick and P.E.I., visitors must fill out a travel form in advance

To gain entry, people must not have any COVID-19 symptoms, not have been in close contact with anyone with COVID-19 or have left the region in the last 14 days. 

Further details on Newfoundland and Labrador's rules can be found here.