New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs says his province will maintain a travel bubble with Nova Scotia, even as his province reported 15 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday.
Both Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey and P.E.I. Premier Dennis King announced they would be reimposing mandatory 14-day self-isolation requirements for Atlantic travellers entering their respective provinces.
At a media briefing on Monday, Higgs said he and the other Atlantic premiers spoke via teleconference the previous evening. He described the decisions around the Atlantic bubble as a “shared decision”.
“We certainly understand the situation that Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island are in and their concerns with our current situation,” Higgs said.
Earlier on Monday, Furey had described the Newfoundland move as a "circuit breaker".
Higgs said individuals travelling to New Brunswick from P.E.I. or Newfoundland and Labrador would not be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
Still, Higgs advised against non-essential travel into New Brunswick from other provinces.
Higgs said public health authorities have been able to conduct contact tracing with recent outbreaks in New Brunswick. By contrast, the recent escalation of case counts in the Halifax area have involved community transmission, which cannot be definitively traced.
Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health, reported 15 new cases of COVID-19 in the province. One additional death was reported on Monday, bringing New Brunswick’s total number of deaths due to the pandemic to seven. Eleven of the new cases were in the Saint John area, three of the cases were in the Moncton area and one case in the Fredericton area.
Russell said some of the new cases were linked to the Stan Cassidy Rehab Centre in Fredericton. She also said other cases were linked to five different schools throughout the three affected zones.