N.S. premier promises to keep a close watch on people in vehicles with U.S. plates
With an increasing number of Nova Scotians complaining on social media about seeing cars with American plates entering the province, Premier Stephen McNeil has pledged to keep a closer watch on those showing up at the border from outside Atlantic Canada.
However, McNeil also warned Nova Scotians not to jump to conclusions about the people in those cars, saying most of them are probably Canadian citizens coming home after living or working abroad.
“There are lots of stories circulating, conversation on social media about Americans and others who are coming into our province and not self-isolating,” the premier told a virtual news conference Friday.
“If this is true, this is not acceptable. If you commit to self-isolating for 14 days, we expect you to keep your word.”
The premier made the comments about 12 hours after the four Atlantic provinces lifted travel restrictions for residents to reflect the region’s relatively low and stable COVID-19 infection rates.
Residents of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador can now travel to any of the other three provinces without self-isolating for 14 days after arriving – but the requirement remains in place for anyone who lives outside the region.
Even though the Canada-U.S. border remains closed to non-essential travel, Canadians citizens living in the United States are allowed to enter Canada, as long as they have a passport and are not displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
On Friday, the provincial government’s Facebook page lit up with harsh comments about Americans entering Nova Scotia.
“I am shocked and appalled that the premier will allow Americans in,” said one post. “I thought the prime minister said the borders remain closed! I have heard numerous accounts of Americans in restaurants and trying to book kayak tours and admitting they haven’t quarantined.”
Another Facebook post was more blunt: “I just read that our government will not be stopping people with American plates at the border. What is this Atlantic ‘bubble’ about if Americans can come into the province?”