Logistics of Atlantic bubble still being worked out
‘A bubble can be fragile’
There is still a lot to be worked out before an Atlantic bubble can open, says P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison, and still more to think about before any opening beyond that.
Morrison remained cautious at a pandemic briefing Tuesday morning about the possibility of opening up provincial borders to people outside of Atlantic Canada.
Talks are continuing on the possibility of opening up a bubble for Atlantic Canada, but Morrison said she would like to see whether any problems develop with that before opening up the province any further.
"Start with Atlantic Canada and see how that goes. Watch our numbers, watch our cases," she said.
"We've always said a bubble can be fragile by its very nature, so I think it would be a good first step."
Morrison said opening beyond that would depend on what happens within the bubble and in the rest of the country.
Logistics of screening
Details of how an Atlantic bubble might work are still being developed.
Border screening would remain, and the province is considering systems for expediting the process in order to prevent long lines of waiting traffic.
"It's a matter of how do you have flow of people," said Morrison.
"Those are the logistics that we are trying to figure out so that there isn't a huge backlog."
Residency in Atlantic Canada would have to be confirmed. Questions would still have to be asked about people who are ill or have been in contact with people who are ill, as well as about recent travel. Pre-approval might be a possibility.
As restrictions are lifted, Morrison said it is important to remember there are risks.
"It's been so long here on P.E.I. since we had a case of COVID-19 that we almost forget about it," she said.
"As we go into these next phases, into Phase 4, and we lift some of the restrictions, we talk about an Atlantic bubble, it's more important than ever that we don't forget to be careful."
As long as there is COVID-19 in the world risks will remain, and the province is working to balance those risks, she said.