People in Newfoundland and Labrador will soon be able to enter Nova Scotia without having to self-isolate, Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin announced on Tuesday.
"We're confident that the low case numbers make it possible to remove this measure," Rankin said during a COVID-19 news briefing. As of Monday, Newfoundland and Labrador had four active cases.
With this change, all Atlantic Canadians will now be able to enter the province without the need to quarantine for 14 days. However, anyone travelling from Nova Scotia to New Brunswick, P.E.I. or Newfoundland and Labrador will still need to self-isolate for 14 days in those provinces.
Rankin, who made the announcement alongside Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, said the province is continuing to watch New Brunswick "very closely." The province is experiencing an outbreak and had 168 active cases as of Monday.
"If Dr. Strang decides it's necessary, we will shut that border down," he said.
Last month, the Council of Atlantic Premiers announced it planned to open up the Altantic bubble, which permits residents from the four Atlantic provinces to travel freely between them, by April 19.
Other restrictions eased
Nova Scotia's decision relating to Newfoundland and Labrador, along with other eased restrictions announced Tuesday, will take effect Wednesday at 8 a.m.
Rankin said malls, retail business and fitness facilities can also return to operating at 100 per cent capacity on Wednesday, with physical distancing.
And sports practices, training and games, along with arts and culture rehearsals and performances can now have 75 people. Rankin said while physical distancing and masks are not required for these activities, they are recommended when possible.
Spectators can continue to attend these events except when they're held at schools, Rankin said.
"Thanks to your hard work, we're able to keep our cases low and we're able to open up a bit more," he said. "But again, we'll monitor this very closely and be nimble as we have been and shut down when we need to."
6 new cases, 4 new variant cases
Nova Scotia reported six new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. There are now 36 active cases of COVID-19 in the province.
Five of the new cases are in the central health zone. One is related to travel outside Atlantic Canada, while three are close contacts of a previously reported case. One case is under investigation.
There is also one new case in the eastern health zone that is the close contact of a previously reported case.
The province has also identified four new cases of the COVID-19 variant first identified in the U.K. The cases, which are now resolved, were in the central health zone. Two were close contacts of previous cases and two were related to international travel.
There is no sign of community spread from the variant cases. There has been a total of 22 cases of that variant found in Nova Scotia so far, along with 10 cases of the variant first identified in South Africa.
Atlantic Canada case numbers
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- New Brunswick reported 10 new cases on Monday for a total of 168 known active cases. Fourteen people are in the hospital related to the virus, with eight in intensive care.
- Newfoundland and Labrador reported one new case on Thursday and none over the Easter weekend. The province had four known active cases.
- P.E.I. reported one new case on Thursday. There were 13 known active cases on the Island.
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