N.S. open to Atlantic Bubble idea, just not right yet, says McNeil

Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang at the June 10 COVID19 briefing. (Communications N.S. Photo)

ENFIELD: While the premier of PEI, Dennis King, has said early July for when an Atlantic Bubble would open that enthusiasm had some water doused on it Thursday June 11.

An Atlantic Bubble would see borders open between N.B., N.S., PEI and NL.

In an interview with CBC, King spoke of a conversation the four premiers had on Wednesday night.

“There seems to be agreement from all premiers that if the epidemiology continues on the trajectory that it’s on, that we could probably see some Atlantic bubbling sometime in early July,” King said in the interview.

“If something were to happen that might cause one of the provinces to hold back, we might very well see two provinces start, another one may join a few days later so we don’t really have a hard and fast date.”

However, Premier Stephen McNeil poured cold water on the idea, saying getting Nova Scotia families to see each other and an expanded bubble are his priorities before they think of opening up as part of an Atlantic bubble.

“Nova Scotia is open to an Atlantic bubble, but we cannot put a date on it until we are sure our case numbers are low and the cases in other provinces remain low,” said McNeil in a statement.

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He said that over the next few weeks, the province needs to monitor COVID-19 cases to ensure they stay low and there is little to no community spread.

“If we continue to flatten the curve, our first priority is to ease restrictions in our own province, including expanding the family bubble,” he said.

McNeil said the restrictions the province has regarding border travel will remain in place.

“Currently in Nova Scotia, anyone who wants to come is welcome, as long as they don’t have any symptoms of COVID-19 and can self-isolate for 14 days when they arrive,” said McNeil. “We will decide when to lift those restrictions based on science.”