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Those coming from New Brunswick may still face modified self-isolation as Nova Scotia opens to Atlantic Canadians

Premier Iain Rankin said Nova Scotia may be able to welcome visitors from the rest of Canada in early July
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UPDATE: Nova Scotia releases details of modified self-isolation for those coming from New Brunswick. The same rules will apply when the province opens to travellers from outside Atlantic Canada on June 30

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When Nova Scotia opens its border to Atlantic Canadians Wednesday, a modified self-isolation may still be in place for those coming from New Brunswick.

Our neighbouring province is already allowing travellers from across Canada to arrive without self-isolating.

"Tomorrow we'll be able to start welcoming Atlantic Canadians, but there might be a little different rule in place for New Brunswick, given that they are open on the other side of their border," Premier Iain Rankin told NEWS 95.7 fill-in host Todd Veinotte Tuesday morning.

Rankin said he still needs to have his daily meeting with Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, where they will discuss the issue further.

"But the two of us both feel like we'll need some protection, some modified isolation requirements and testing for those that are going to New Brunswick from Nova Scotia and coming back, and New Brunswickers themselves," he explained. "But we will accommodate for different scenarios of vaccine uptake, first and second dose."

"It will look something like what we do now for rotational workers, just given the fact that they're open to the rest of the country."

Currently, any rotational workers who don't have symptoms and have had their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at least two weeks before arriving do not have to quarantine.

But they do need to get tested on day one or two after arriving, again on day five or six, then a third time on day 12,13 or 14.

Those who have had only one dose also need to do three tests, but only have to self-isolate for one week instead of two if the first two come back negative.

"We'll be fully open to P.E.I. and Newfoundland, and we said we wanted to be for New Brunswick, but that would effectively be open to the rest of the country if we didn't have some modification to our restriction," Rankin stated.

"We need to get our second doses into arms," he added. "The Delta variant is very real and we need to make sure that we're focused on the safety element of our plan and we're just not ready for the rest of the country yet, but we're getting there soon."

Nova Scotia hopes to reopen to visitors from outside of Atlantic Canada without fewer restrictions in Phase 4, which is currently scheduled to start on July 14, but Rankin said that date for easing travel restrictions is now a "worst-case scenario."

On Monday, the federal government announced it would start easing border restrictions on July 5. 

Fully vaccinated travellers already eligible to enter Canada -- including citizens, permanent residents, and people registered under the Indian Act -- can forego the 14-day federally mandated quarantine, including the government-authorized hotel stay.

They'll need to have had their second dose at least two weeks before arriving and will need to test negative before getting on the plane, then again when getting off. They'll also need to have a quarantine plan ready just in case that second test comes back positive.

"It's positive news from the federal government on the July 5 date for travel. I'd like to align closer to that date, I'd like to try to give certainty to the tourism sector and families that want to come here," said Rankin.

"We're talking about what we need in place to be able to open up earlier," he added. "We said we'd be flexible with the dates. We were flexible with the Atlantic to move it up to June 23, and now we're looking at possibilities for early July for the rest of Canada."

More information is expected during today's COVID-19 briefing, which starts at 3 p.m.




Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana and lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the editor for CityNews Halifax.
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