Cuba-Atlantic bubble “an interesting idea,” says Russell

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Sorry, sun-seekers, this dream trip to Cuba should remain a dream for now, although Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, was not entirely opposed to the idea of ​​a bubble on Thursday. of travel.“It’s an interesting idea,” she said when asked about an Atlantic-Cuba travel bubble at a press conference in Fredericton.

A new bubble emerged this week after a Halifax travel agency announced it was offering two week-long trips to Cuba exclusively for residents of Atlantic Canada looking for a warm winter vacation to the shelter from COVID-19.

Absolute Travel Specialists in Halifax said it will charter an Air Canada flight to Cuba in February and another in March, and travelers should be quarantined upon their return to Canada. Half of the seats on the first flight have been sold, the agency said.

Russell said a travel bubble is only at the “conversation” stage and should be accepted by all four Atlantic provinces.

“The risks at the moment should be decided collectively, the four provinces together should agree on this… I haven’t really had conversations myself personally,” she said.

Nova Scotia Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang at Wednesday’s COVID-19 briefing. Strang was cool about traveling to Cuba and other non-essential trips as the pandemic rages around the world. (Dave Laughlin / CBC)

But his Nova Scotia counterpart, Dr. Robert Strang, is not enthusiastic.

On Wednesday, Strang poured cold water on the possibility of a bubble and encouraged Nova Scotians to stay home.

“The Public Health Agency of Canada continues to advise against non-essential international travel,” Strang told reporters, adding that the “safest” option at the moment is for Nova Scotians to continue to “support our hotels, restaurants and other local businesses ”.

During Thursday’s briefing, Russell was also asked about the possibility of installing temperature scanners at airports in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John, as do major airports in Toronto and Calgary.

She said she hadn’t heard any discussion about bringing the scanners here and suggested it wasn’t high on her radar yet.

“In terms of technology and what that information can tell us about travelers… we know that fever symptoms in COVID patients can be fleeting,” she said. “It may last a short while and then go away and then come back. “

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