P.E.I. invites family visits in June, but no date set for New Brunswick

·3 min read

Prince Edward Island is giving seasonal residents and those with family on the island a date for entry applications – and it has would-be New Brunswick visitors wishing for similar certainty.

P.E.I. announced this week that it will begin processing applications for entry of seasonal residents and those with family connections after June 8.

Those entering will also have to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their arrival, as well as submit to followup tests in Prince Edward Island.

Previously, family members and seasonal residents were simply told they could not come to the island.

The New Brunswick government, meanwhile, has not set a date of when the same groups might be allowed to return to this province.

When asked by the Times & Transcript about the matter at Friday's COVID-19 media briefing, Health Minister Dorothy Shephard declined to comment on cabinet decisions.

"But what I can tell you is that the Department of Health with public health will be making recommendations to cabinet and the COVID-19 cabinet committee very soon."

"It is imperative that we get a little bit more of our population vaccinated and ideally 75 per cent of our population 12 years of age and older vaccinated before we open up."

Leslie Steeves lives in Toronto, but is from Rothesay. Steeves and her husband have many family members in the province. She has a residence in Shediac that her family normally stays in for a large part of the year.

“We consider ourselves residents, not visitors,” she said.

She said they would be happy to undergo COVID-19 tests and other protocols – they see the process in P.E.I. as reasonable.

“We want to protect the people of New Brunswick and access our home,” she said.

Derek Henderson agrees.

“What P.E.I. announced seems very fair,” he said.

Henderson and his family have a cottage in Pointe-du-Chêne.

Seeing his mom, who is in the area, has been on his mind.

“My mom is 90, and I haven’t been able to see her,” he said.

His wife’s mom is in Truro, too, and normally travel back and forth while in the Maritimes.

The family underwent last year's quarantine requirements and said they would be willing to do it again.

"Nobody wants to spread this virus," he said, noting he himself lives with a pre-existing condition that would make him higher risk if he contracted COVID-19.

Ann-Marie Delworth, is a Canadian citizen with a cottage in Cap-Brulé, but is a resident of Pennsylvania.

Fully vaccinated, her household had hoped to return to New Brunswick for the May long weekend, when a major renovation on her New Brunswick home is wrapping up. Now they will need to inspect the work through a video.

Her household misses seeing family members who live in the area of their cottage also, she said.

The family travelled to the province last year, and she said they embraced their quarantine and are more than willing to follow all the rules to keep everyone safe.

“We just want to get there,” she said.

Shephard said she appreciated everyone's excitement and concern about trying to get to see family and loved ones.

"We're not that far away," she added.

She hopes to be able to share some pieces next week.

Requests to the Department of Justice and Public Safety about whether New Brunswick is looking at a similar move to P.E.I. were not answered by publication time.

Clara Pasieka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal

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