. . ST. JOHN'S, N. . L.. . - Prince Edward Island, as well as Newfoundland and Labrador, announced on Monday that they are withdrawing temporarily from the Atlantic bubble as COVID-19 cases rise in the region.
"After careful consideration and consultation, I made the tough decision to introduce an interruption," Premier Andrew Furey told reporters in St.. . Johns, N. . L.. . "Implementing this change for a period of two weeks is an attempt to avoid a complete lockdown. ""
In Charlottetown, P.. . E.. . I. Prime Minister Dennis King announced that it was a preventive step "that will hopefully allow us to maintain the level of almost ordinary life we have enjoyed in this province. ""
King said all non-essential travel to and from the island would be suspended until December. 7th. At that point the situation would be reassessed. The changes will take effect at 12:01 p.m.. m. Tuesday he said.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, all visitors to the province from the Atlantic provinces must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival, just like visitors from other parts of Canada, although they do not need to apply for a travel exemption. These changes begin at 12:01 p.m.. m. Wednesday and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
The Council of Atlantic Premiers issued a statement Monday in which Nova Scotia Prime Minister Stephen McNeil and New Brunswick Prime Minister Blaine Higgs, along with Furey and King, "recommended caution on non-essential travel within the Atlantic provinces". "Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have not yet introduced any new travel restrictions.
The four Atlantic provinces formed their so-called bubble in July to allow residents to move freely within the region, while those who came from outside had to isolate for 14 days.
Monday's changes come after a weekend when New Brunswick set a record for one-day case numbers on Saturday with 23 cases announced and Nova Scotia indicated potential risk in nearly 40 locations in Halifax amid the expansion of the community. Last week, Newfoundland and Labrador announced a new case involving someone who had returned to the province from Nova Scotia.
In Nova Scotia, the Halifax area and neighboring Hants County went into effect tougher public health regulations to limit gatherings on Monday after the province detected 19 new COVID-19 infections on Friday and Saturday.
Prince Edward reported a new case of COVID-19 on Monday - a woman in her forties who traveled to the island from outside the Atlantic. The province has recorded a total of 69 cases since the pandemic began, all of which are travel-related.
Newfoundland and Labrador reported two new cases on Monday, both in the western region of the province. The first is a man between 20 and 39 years old who returned to the province after a trip to Manitoba. The second is the first provincial case in a school, a girl attending an elementary school in Deer Lake, where a group of related cases was first identified last week.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published in November. 23, 2020.
- With files from Keith Doucette in Halifax.
Sarah Smellie, the Canadian press