N.S. resort only taking Atlantic bubble guests due to self-isolation concerns
People inside the bubble 'deserve a really safe place,' says White Point Beach Resort general manager
A Nova Scotia resort will only accept guests from the Atlantic bubble this summer and will turn away guests from the rest of Canada, the U.S. and beyond.
White Point Beach Resort offers lodge and cabin accommodations on its waterfront property on the South Shore. Typically, it attracts guests from around the world.
General manager Dylan Meisner said this year, its guests will only come from the four Atlantic provinces.
"The introduction of the Atlantic bubble breathed new life into the Atlantic provinces. The idea that we may be opening up shortly thereafter to the rest of the country, it really did concern me," he said.
So even if a Canada bubble opens this summer, White Point will stick to the East Coast.
Meisner said when they reopened in June, staff called past clients from outside Nova Scotia to make the clients aware of the proper self-isolation guidelines.
He said many people did not understand them, but expected they could take walks and drive around town during the isolation period.
"That's not at all what it means to us, or to the government. So the closer it gets to all of that opening and reopening, it just made us more and more nervous," he said.
Keeping the curve flattened
He said he feels for people who now won't be able to stay at White Point this summer.
"But at the same time, I feel that the safety and the well-being of the people that work here year-round, that come to play here year-round, and for all of those people that have worked so hard inside of the Atlantic provinces to really flatten the curve, deserve a really safe place to come," he said.
Digby Pines, another major resort in the province, said it will take bookings from across Canada. If the potential guest is from outside the Atlantic bubble, Digby Pines staff will ask if they've already completed their two weeks of isolation before they are allowed to check in.
Liscombe Lodge, a resort on the Eastern Shore, won't limit bookings to the Atlantic bubble. General manager Karen Wenaus said staff will ask visitors from outside the bubble if they have isolated for two weeks.
"So we definitely do ask the questions if anybody's phone number or their address is not from the area that we at this point in time are bubbled in," she said.
Wenaus said Liscombe Lodge isn't expecting a banner year. "It is looking far better than what I projected it to be at the beginning of May, I will say that," she said.
Fears of a second wave
Geoff MacLellan is Nova Scotia's tourism minister. He said he respects the decisions made by private businesses, and he's confident the province will be safe either way. And he knows tourism businesses are worried about a potential second wave of COVID-19.
"They've been able to stay afloat for this round, but if there's a second flare-up, a second phase and it's because we didn't take all the right measures around the opening-up process, they're done," MacLellan said of their fears.
With files from Shaina Luck