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Îles de la Madeleine
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Start planning that road trip: Îles de la Madeleine is accepting tourists as of today

The archipelago in the Gulf of the Saint-Lawrence River is now accepting tourists' use of the ferry to access the islands.

By JP Karwacki
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Time to start planning a road trip to the picturesque Îles de la Madeleine, as the group of islands opened up ferry access today. Montrealers and other mainlanders from across the province will now be able to enjoy some of the best beaches, landscapes and seafood in the Atlantic.

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After months of being locked down, driving through New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island for access to the ferry is now permitted. Previously, access was only permitted under specific conditions. Anyone who wanted to use its ferry has to fill out a form in order to obtain permission, but it's a small price to pay for access. Booking and tourist accommodations are acceptable reasons to go onto the archipelago, according to the Quebec government's website concerning cross-provincial travel.

The shift in permissions follows the Quebec government's announcement on June 11 to inject $750 million into its tourism industry in order to prevent further damage. It's an industry that's been hit hard by the diminished number of visitors the province has seen since the outbreak caused a state of emergency in March 2020.

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All eight islands should be accessible—Entry Island, Havre Aubert Island, Cap aux Meules Island, Havre aux Maisons Island, Pointe aux Loups Island, Grosse Île Island, Grande Entrée Island, and Brion Island—but travellers should be prepared to not have every single accommodation available to them on arrival.

It continues to be up to business owners whether or not they wish to open things such as hotels and restaurants; the tourism board for the islands, for example, notes on its cultural calendar that some events may be closed altogether. With this announcement, however, things are beginning to open up—just make sure to call ahead if a trip is being planned to enjoy the rest of the summer.

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