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Canada New Brunswick opens some of its borders as Atlantic bubble arrives

14:08  03 july  2020
14:08  03 july  2020 Source:   cbc.ca

Potential traffic backup on Confederation Bridge 'significant safety issue'

  Potential traffic backup on Confederation Bridge 'significant safety issue' With Confederation Bridge opening to travellers from Atlantic Canada starting next Friday, officials are concerned about the potential for traffic backing up over the bridge. Currently only essential travellers and pre-approved seasonal residents are allowed to cross the bridge, but that will change July 3 with the opening of the Atlantic bubble as part of easing of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. While provincial borders will be open to Atlantic Canadians there will, however, be checkpoints to ensure others do not cross. That concerns Michel LeChasseur, general manager for Strait Crossing Bridge Ltd., which manages the Confederation Bridge.

New Brunswick has added extra border staff in anticipation of an increase in traffic with Friday's launch of the Atlantic bubble , but officials said travellers The Atlantic bubble starts Friday, allowing travellers from within the four provinces to cross borders without having to self-isolate for 14 days, but

Atlantic Canadians are closely eyeing travel requirements and coronavirus case numbers across the region as the four provinces prepare to open their borders to their neighbours Friday, an experiment that's prompted excitement and anxiety among residents. COVID-19 cases in the region have

a building with a grassy field: The line into New Brunswick is getting longer as the morning goes on. © Kate Letterick/CBC The line into New Brunswick is getting longer as the morning goes on.

After months of closed borders, people in Atlantic Canada are now allowed to travel within the four provinces without the need to self-isolate.

At the Aulac entry point Friday morning, long lineups of personal vehicles have already formed. Commercial traffic seemed to be flowing through more quickly.

Each province has its own set of rules.

In New Brunswick, peace officers are asking all non-commercial travellers to show proof of residency within Atlantic Canada.

They also have to answer questions and be screened for COVID-19. Traveller's contact information is being collected in case of an outbreak.

Atlantic Bubble not enough to keep operators open, says N.B. tourism association

  Atlantic Bubble not enough to keep operators open, says N.B. tourism association Tourism businesses across the province are trying to make ends meet as the summer starts to pass with border restrictions and other COVID-19 prevention measures. The president and chief executive officer of the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick said the Atlantic bubble provides more hope, but it's not enough. "Tourists coming from Atlantic Canada only account for 33 per cent of the tourists coming to New Brunswick. So there is still a lot of help that is needed for our industry for sure," Carol Alderdice told Information Morning Fredericton.

People on the New Brunswick -Nova Scotia border are hoping that a planned ' Atlantic bubble ' goes ahead soon. "Our economy, our businesses, as they start to recover, they need that other portion of the population that would typically come across the marsh to do some of that," said Sackville Mayor

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil on Thursday said the Atlantic travel bubble is a “great first step” to open up the region and allow movement for citizens, as well as provide family reunification and economic opportunities as they “continue to be vigilant” to COVID-19.

a sign on the side of a road: Tents are set up and non-commercial vehicles are being stopped to answer screening questions and to provide proof of Atlantic residency. © Kate Letterick/CBC News Tents are set up and non-commercial vehicles are being stopped to answer screening questions and to provide proof of Atlantic residency.

On Wednesday, when people were only allowed in for an essential purpose or if they fell under certain exceptions, 2,645 personal vehicles and 2,679 commercial vehicles came into the province through seven entry points .

The busiest checkpoint, at Aulac, saw 965 personal vehicles and 1,100 commercial cross from Nova Scotia.

Restrictions still apply to travel from Quebec and the border with the U.S. is closed to most personal travel.

New Brunswick has gone nine days without seeing a new case of COVID-19, and has only three active cases.

MLAs in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia say Atlantic bubble needs some work .
After the launch of the Atlantic bubble on Friday MLAs from both sides of the Nova Scotia and New Brunswick border agree the system needs work. Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, Nova Scotia MLA for Cumberland North, said Friday was a "colossal disaster." McCrossin is a registered nurse and was shocked by how unsafe the slow-moving traffic was on the first day the Atlantic provinces opened their borders to each other. "One woman sent me a message saying that she could see 20 different people in ditches defecating and urinating, for example," she told Information Morning Moncton. "It's terrible, but this is what was going on," she told Information Morning Moncton.

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