Many Islanders reacted to news of P.E.I. opting out of the Atlantic bubble by sharing the sentiments of Premier Dennis King — it's unfortunate but necessary.
King announced that as of 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, non-essential travel in and out of P.E.I. would not be permitted, though he did allow for some flexibility for people rushing to get home.
Opposition leader Peter Bevan-Baker of the Green Party tweeted his support for the premier's decision.
"I was glad to hear that P.E.I. is temporarily leaving the Atlantic bubble to protect Islanders' health," he said.
Penny Walsh-McGuire, CEO of the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce, said she encourages Islanders to take the opportunity to shop local this holiday season.
This temporary closure of the P.E.I. border is a layer of precaution that will allow our business community to continue to operate and to avoid entering the full lockdown situations we see in other parts of Canada. — Penny Walsh-McGuire
"While it is unfortunate that we are moving towards further restrictions, the chamber supports the decision to keep Islanders safe and businesses open, especially as case numbers rise across the country," she said in a release.
"This temporary closure of the P.E.I. border is a layer of precaution that will allow our business community to continue to operate and to avoid entering the full lockdown situations we see in other parts of Canada."
Lennox Island First Nation Chief Darlene Bernard said she and many in the Mi'kmaq community travel between the provinces to visit family and friends, but credited King and Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison making the "prudent" decision in the interest of all Island residents.
"I understand the second wave is coming and I think we're all seeing it across the country and right now P.E.I. is the place to be, right, so we have to try to stay here and shop here and keep things going here in our province," she said.
"We all know, when we move, that little bug moves, so we have to stop its movement."
Testing on Lennox Island
Bernard said she and a number of others were tested at a temporary COVID-19 clinic set up Friday on Lennox Island after cases began to spread in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. She said all those tests came back negative.
"We do travel quite a bit between our communities, to Big Cove and places like that, because our families are very close and that's why we had the testing done on Lennox, too, because we had people coming in from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia areas and we were travelling outside of the province as well just getting ready for Christmas and all those kinds of things."
Some people CBC P.E.I. spoke with in Charlottetown also supported the new travel restrictions.
Holland College student Lilly Warner said she is disappointed because it could mean she won't be able to spend the holidays with family in Halifax, but thinks it is best for public safety.
Dylan Echlin, who is from Toronto but lives in Charlottetown, said he knew it would be unrealistic to think he would be able to visit family over the holidays due to cases in Ontario.
"It's something they needed to do for sure just because of the impact of what's going on in the rest of the world and how many cases are evolving with Moncton and Halifax."
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