David Bunce
David Bunce
April 23, 2021

Rising Cases Cause Students Concern About Atlantic Bubble

Outline of New Brunswick, with zone 4 in red and a mask attached | Graphic by Josh Vandenborre

As summer approaches, UNB students are looking forward to wrapping up exams and returning to their home provinces. 

The Atlantic Bubble, which was originally set to open on April 19, is now set to happen on May 3. As of that date, travellers from New Brunswick to any province in Canada will not be required to self-isolate. Students will be able to return to their home provinces uninterrupted. 

With rising cases in many parts of the country, including a recent uptick in Edmundston, students have become concerned that the Atlantic Bubble is in jeopardy. 

Edmundston returned to the Lockdown recovery phase at midnight of April 11 after the province reported 15 new cases in the region, with suspicions that these cases are a “variant of concern.”

All other health zones in the province remain in the Yellow recovery phase, as cases have remained low in those areas. The Lockdown in Edmundston comes with a restriction on unnecessary travel in and out of that zone. It is hopeful that these measures will prevent viral spread outside of the zone. 

Students are concerned that the delay in the Bubble will cause issues for in-person summer employment. 

UNB students finishing exams during the last week of April and starting jobs in the first week of May would be in an unenviable position, as many would have to either postpone their summer positions until the end of a two-week isolation or be forced to travel home and self-isolate during the exam period. 

Individuals who are subletting their units may also face some difficulties, as they must vacate the premises for May 1 and be forced to isolate themselves if travelling outside of the province. There would be no opportunity to wait for the Bubble to open. 

Students should be aware of changing rules for moving outside of the province and for individuals assisting them in doing so. 

Under the new rules, people may enter New Brunswick for a period of no more than 24 hours to transport a student and/or remove belongings from their place of residence. They must observe all public health rules and minimize contact with others, except the student being picked up. 

New Brunswickers assisting students in moving home from Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, or Newfoundland and Labrador are permitted to stay for a period of no longer than 24 hours without a self-isolation requirement. 


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