Atlantic Canada is one of the most unique regions in the country to explore, but it has been closed off to most visitors since the pandemic began. Now, after 18 months of restrictions, the four provinces are reopening to tourism from the rest of Canada.
As each province has its own restrictions in place, the post will look at how Canadian travelers can visit Atlantic Canada this summer.
New Brunswick, which borders Quebec, reopened to Canadians last month after the province hit its Phase 2 COVID-19 path to green vaccination target.
Under phase 2, no isolation or testing is required for those traveling to New Brunswick from Atlantic Canada provinces, Avignon and Témiscouata, Quebec, and Canadian residents with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Unvaccinated Canadians from outside the Atlantic Provinces can visit the province but must isolate and take a Covid-19 test between days 5 and 7 before being allowed out of isolation.
Travelers from outside the Atlantic provinces will be required to show their registration and proof of vaccination when crossing into New Brunswick from Quebec or at an airport.
Nova Scotia shares a border with New Brunswick and has reopened to Canadian travelers under Phase 3 of its reopening plan.
Travelers need to complete the Safe Check-in Form and may need to self-isolate when arriving in the province, depending on their vaccination status.
Those who are fully vaccinated at least 14 days before will not have to self-isolate, while those with 1 dose will have to quarantine for at least 7 days and show proof of two negative tests before leaving isolation.
Atlantic Canadians do not need to self-isolate or complete the safe check-in form but must provide proof of residency.
Prince Edward Island (PEI)
Under PEI’s reopening plan, travelers from within Atlantic Canada can travel to PEI as of June 27th.
P.E.I. will open up to vaccinated Canadians from outside Atlantic Canada who have a PEI Pass as of July 18, which is 10 days earlier than planned. So far, the province has received more than 64,000 applications for its PEI Pass and has processed 60% of those.
If you are unvaccinated or not 21 days past your first dose on the date you travel to PEI, you must isolate for 8 days and take a negative test.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland has reopened to travelers from the rest of Canada for the first time since the pandemic began.
Under the Together Again reopening plan, fully vaccinated travelers do not need to self-isolate or test when coming into the province. Partially vaccinated travelers must show a negative Covid-19 test or self-isolate until receipt of a negative test, and unvaccinated travelers must self-isolate for 14 days.
The reopening is welcome news for the tourism industry, which is a critical part of Newfoundland’s economy. However, tour operators are keeping their expectations realistic about how many visitors they will actually get this summer.
John Steele, president of Steele Hotels, told CBC News:
“I don't think movement is going to really start happening until the vast majority of the public has been double vaccinated,” he said.
“There will be some pickup, but I think once you get into August, September, I think that's when you'll really start seeing it.”
The inconsistencies in Atlantic provinces' reopening plans is also raising concerns for tour operators as it is confusing for travelers to navigate. One thing is for sure; travelers will have an easier time entering Atlantic Canada if they are fully vaccinated.
As for travelers outside of Canada, that will depend on the long-anticipated Canada-US border opening. While there’s immense pressure for the border to open on July 21st, Trudeau has recently said that Canada won’t open up to unvaccinated travelers ‘anytime soon’.