Nova Scotia

N.S. to impose modified quarantine rules on N.B. travellers

Even as Nova Scotia fully opens its borders starting June 23 to P.E.I. and N.L., it will continue to require travellers from New Brunswick to do a modified quarantine. The move comes after New Brunswick announced it would be the first Atlantic province to open its borders to all Canadian provinces.

Nova Scotia to fully open its borders to P.E.I. and N.L. starting Wednesday, but not New Brunswick

Premier Iain Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief medical officer of health. (Communications Nova Scotia)

The Nova Scotia government has announced travellers from New Brunswick will continue to have to self-isolate upon arrival, even after Nova Scotia opens its borders with P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador starting Wednesday morning.

Nova Scotia also said Tuesday that travellers from other parts of Canada will be allowed in the province come June 30, although they too will have to follow quarantine rules when they arrive.

New Brunswick opened its borders to Canadian travellers from outside the Atlantic region last week without the requirement they self-isolate, provided they have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. It is the only Atlantic Canadian province to do so.

"Because of New Brunswick's approach to visitors from the rest of Canada, we need to maintain some protection when people enter Nova Scotia from that province," Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin said in a news release.

At a news conference Tuesday, Rankin said he didn't talk to New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs or anyone from that province's government about Nova Scotia's modified plans.

"I tried to get a hold of the New Brunswick officials last week," he said. "We were supposed to have a call last week and that never happened."

Rankin didn't explain why he waited until the day before the border rules change involving the Atlantic provinces to announce his plans for New Brunswick travellers.

Most travellers from Atlantic Canada are currently required to quarantine for 14 days when they arrive in Nova Scotia. That self-isolation rule will be fully lifted Wednesday at 8 a.m. for travellers from P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador. Travellers from those two provinces will no longer have to self-isolate or complete a form upon arrival in Nova Scotia, no matter how many doses of the vaccine they have received. 

People travelling from New Brunswick — including Nova Scotians returning from that province — can enter for any reason but will have isolation and testing requirements based on their vaccination status.

These travellers will continue to complete the Nova Scotia safe check-in form, which will ask for proof of vaccination status. New Brunswick travellers will receive automatic approval but will have to show their proof of vaccination to border officials, which will determine how long they have to self-isolate in Nova Scotia.

Their isolation requirements are:

  • People who have had two doses of vaccine at least 14 days before arriving in Nova Scotia must self-isolate until they receive a negative test result in Nova Scotia.
  • People who had one dose of vaccine at least 14 days before arriving in Nova Scotia must self-isolate for at least seven days and cannot leave isolation until they get two negative tests results while in Nova Scotia; tests should be on day one or two and on day five or six.
  • People who have not had any vaccine and those who had a first dose within 14 days of arrival must isolate for 14 days; testing at the beginning and end of their isolation continues to be recommended.

The tests must be standard PCR lab tests. They cannot be rapid tests. For people arriving in Halifax by air, they can get their first test at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport. All travellers can book tests online at testing sites around the province.

The rules will also apply to travellers from outside the Atlantic region who will be allowed in the province come June 30, about two weeks ahead of the initial target of July 14 in Nova Scotia's reopening plan. Only essential travel from outside the Atlantic region is currently permitted.

People who cross the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border for work, child care or veterinary services can continue to follow a specific protocol for those travellers. People who travel between the two provinces due to child custody visits also follow a different protocol, which the Nova Scotia government said will be updated with more information. 

2 deaths, 2 new cases

Two more people have died of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, and the province also reported two new cases on Tuesday.

One of the people who died is a man in his 60s who lived in the central zone. The other is a man in his 50s who lived in the western zone. The man in his 60s had had one shot of the vaccine, but contracted the virus "before he developed his immunity" and died, Rankin said. The man in his 50s had not been vaccinated. 

One of the new cases is in the central zone and is a close contact of a previously reported case. The other new case is in the western zone and is related to travel.

The province's total active caseload is now 74.

Two people are in hospital and neither are in intensive care.

Labs in the province processed 3,323 COVID-19 tests on Monday. 

As of Tuesday, 71.4 per cent of the population of the province has received a first dose of vaccine, including 10 per cent who have also received a second dose.

Nova Scotia — and the rest of Atlantic Canada — reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Monday.

Atlantic Canada case numbers

  • New Brunswick reported no new cases Monday. It has 56 active cases.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases Monday. It has 22 active cases.
  • P.E.I. has reported no new cases since June 3. There are no active cases.