Nova Scotia

Premier clarifies confusion over self-isolation for workers entering Nova Scotia

Premier Stephen McNeil says all out-of-province workers who have entered Nova Scotia will need to self-isolate, after a Cape Breton village raised concerns over workers arriving by a fishing boat.

Chéticamp residents worried out-of-province fisheries workers could bring COVID-19

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil at the April 7, 2020, COVID-19 briefing. (CBC)

Nova Scotia's premier says all out-of-province workers who have entered Nova Scotia will need to self-isolate, just like everyone else entering by car, plane or sea.

Last week, residents of Chéticamp, a small Cape Breton fishing community, expressed worry that out-of-province fisheries workers could bring COVID-19 to their village.

At the time, a spokesperson for the province said if the workers were healthy, they were exempt from the usual public health rules.

On Tuesday, Premier Stephen McNeil said there was a misunderstanding.

"If you're coming into our province, regardless of where you're coming from, we expect you to self-isolate," he said.

The federal government indicated they would also look into the matter.

"They are essential workers, no one is questioning that," said Cape Breton-Canso MP Mike Kelloway. "We also have provincial emergency protocols in place that must be followed for those that are outside of the province of Nova Scotia."

Leonard LeBlanc represents fishermen on the board of the Gulf of Nova Scotia Fishermen's Coalition.

Fishing boats line the dock in Chéticamp, N.S., last week. Residents were concerned fisheries workers coming from outside the province could put the community at risk. (Brent Kelloway/CBC)

He also expressed confusion over the rules about self-isolation, saying he was told last week that people coming into Chéticamp on fishing vessels were not asked to isolate.

LeBlanc was pleased to hear that any out-of-province worker would need to self-isolate.

"I think this decision will go a long way for appeasing the community," he said.

As of Tuesday, there are 310 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia.

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