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Nova Scotia tightening border with New Brunswick due to COVID-19 spike

Friday, January 08, 2021 @ 3:15 PM | By Terry Davidson

Nova Scotia will be requiring all who enter from neighbouring New Brunswick to self-isolate following a sudden spike in COVID-19 in the latter province.

Starting Jan. 9, at 8 a.m. (AST), those travelling from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia will have to quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival, according to a Jan. 8 news release from the Nova Scotia government.

“Starting tomorrow, people entering Nova Scotia from New Brunswick must complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form before arriving and self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival,” states the release. “Nova Scotians returning from New Brunswick must also self-isolate for 14 days, unless they are exempt from the order.”

The move comes in response to a surge of COVID-19 in New Brunswick, which discovered 31 new cases on Jan. 6 — reportedly a single-day record — and 24 new cases on Jan. 7.

As of then, there had been 717 confirmed cases, 577 recoveries and nine deaths. There were 130 active cases, according to the New Brunswick government’s website.

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said in a press conference that Nova Scotia was holding its own and that the goal is to keep it that way.

McNeil said two new cases of COVID-19 had been discovered in his province — both related to people who had come in from outside Atlantic Canada.

“There are now 29 active cases in our province, and we are keeping the numbers down, and I want to thank all of you for that,” he said. “But we know that with COVID-19, the cases can spike very quickly and unexpectedly. Just look at what is happening in our sister province next door, New Brunswick. That province is experiencing its largest outbreak of COVID-19, with cases spread across the province. I feel for New Brunswick and I wish them nothing but good luck.”

Exceptions to the quarantine rule, said McNeil, include those entering for a medical appointment, for work or for “legal reasons.”

He went on to stress that self-isolations will be tracked via an online “check-in form.”

“But what we’re saying here is do not go to New Brunswick, and New Brunswickers, do not come here unless it is essential purposes.”

According to the news release, the new entry requirement is “not retroactive.” However, Nova Scotia’s government is strongly encouraging those who arrived in the province from New Brunswick during the past 14 days to “get tested immediately and consider a second test five to seven days later.”

“They should self-isolate while waiting for the first test result,” it states.

Current COVID-19 restrictions in Nova Scotia, such as limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings; reduced hours for restaurants and bars; and capacity restrictions for fitness facilities, will continue until Jan. 24.

As of Jan. 8, Nova Scotia had 1,526 “cumulative confirmed” cases, 1,432 “resolved” cases and 65 deaths.

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