P.E.I. rolling ahead with opening to Atlantic Canada on Sunday
Opening to rest of Canada could happen earlier
The P.E.I. government hasn't appeared as concerned as Nova Scotia's when it comes to travellers from New Brunswick entering the province during the pandemic.
New Brunswick opened its borders to the rest of Canada last week, but Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang said Nova Scotia would not share that risk, and decided at the last minute to continue with a quarantine requirement for most New Brunswick travellers.
However, P.E.I. hasn't imposed any particular restrictions on those travelling from New Brunswick — travellers from the province are required to follow the same rules as those from other Atlantic provinces.
P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison says the province is rolling ahead with the plan to open up to Atlantic Canada this coming Sunday.
As of Sunday, travellers from all of the Atlantic provinces will be allowed to come to P.E.I. without having to self-isolate, as long as they have at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and receive a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival.
Morrison said she isn't worried about an increased risk posed by New Brunswickers.
"We have these other layers of protection with the PEI Pass, and then the testing as well."
As of Sunday, June 27, people with a pass will be allowed to use it whenever they travel within the Atlantic region or to the Magdalen Islands, reached by ferry from P.E.I., without having to self-isolate when they return to P.E.I.
The decision N.B. travellers would have to self-isolate after traveling to N.S. prompted a protest at the shared border between the two provinces Wednesday, halting travel for a majority of the day. Wednesday night, RCMP forced protesters to stand down, and arrested some of them.
Nova Scotia did end up easing restrictions for some New Brunswickers Thursday. Those coming from N.B. into N.S. who had two doses of COVID-19 will not have to isolate.
The disease has certainly decreased across the country and across the region.— Dr. Heather Morrison
The plan now in Nova Scotia is to open up travel for all New Brunswickers without the need for isolation on June 30.
"New Brunswick made the decision that you can come to New Brunswick with one dose of vaccine and you don't have to quarantine. I don't think that is sufficient to protect against the delta valiant," said Strang.
"What we're watching is what has been the impact of New Brunswick on that decision and the 30th gives us two weeks to observe that impact in New Brunswick."
No positive cases since early June
P.E.I. hasn't had a positive COVID-19 case since early June and about 80 per cent of eligible Islanders have been vaccinated.
That means the Island may move ahead its date for opening its borders to all Canadians, Morrison said.
"I can see that moving up, because with the vaccine we are anticipated getting into the province, I think we can achieve that higher percentage of fully vaccinated people earlier," she said.
"Coupled with the fact the disease has certainly decreased across the country and across the region."
However, Morrison wasn't specific on how much sooner the province could open up to the rest of Canada.
More from CBC P.E.I.
With files from Steve Bruce