Conditions for forming and suspending the Atlantic bubble

For this project you are to develop a mathematical model that gives the criteria for when a jurisdiction implementing a containment strategy should enter into a quarantine-free `bubble’ during a pandemic.

It may be helpful to first consider a two-patch model before considering a more realistic multi-patch model. You may also gain insight by trying to determine the epidemiolgical and public health response requirements for a containment strategy to be possible/beneficial.

A relevant reference is The differential importation risks of COVID-19 from inbound travellers and the feasibility of targeted travel controls: A case study in Hong Kong by Yang et al (2021).

You should begin by performing a literature review to identify any relevant modelling.

Another version of this project would be to consider an infectious disease that impacts agriculture, such as foot-and-mouth, and to review the use of spatially-structured measures, and zones with no measures.


In the Summer and Fall of 2020, the provinces of Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador) reported few COVID-19 cases (Hurford et al. 2023). These provinces formed the Atlantic bubble, which eased COVID-19 self-isolation requirements for residents of Atlantic Canada travelling between provinces. It was announced that the Atlantic bubble would reform in the summer of 2021, but this reopening was delayed, and shortly after most of Canada’s provinces announced re-opening plans because many Canadians had now received at least one dose of vaccine. Wikipedia has a good summary of the Atlantic bubble during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021, the Trans-Tasman bubble was formed between Australia and New Zealand, with New Zealand proposing the traffic light system to Continue, Pause, or Suspend participation in the bubble.