EDMUNDSTON, N.B. -- There's a sense of cautious optimism tonight in the city of Edmundston, which is as of Wednesday, is no longer under lockdown.

Cases of COVID-19 in the region now appear to be under control with hospital admissions down and no signs of new community transmission.

After more than two weeks, the tap room at Les Brasseurs de Petit-Sault is now back open and the beer -- and conversation --  is once again flowing.

"We opened the tap room at noon today, so we had some of our regulars that we don't see typically at noon just come in and drop by and say hello," said general manager Andre Leger.

The Edmundston-based brewery had to temporarily close this part of their business after public health put the city on lockdown amid climbing cases of covid-19 and the U.K. variant.

"The tap room being closed and the bars being closed, it's a big source of revenue for us that we lost," Leger said.

The lockdown was lifted today with no new signs of community transmission, and hospital admissions way down.

But even with businesses now able to re-open their doors - there is still a sense of caution for a region that's been on a rollercoaster of restrictions.

"On the one side, it is positive for the businesses that can operate again and for the ones that shut down," said Cathy Pelletier of the Edmundston Region Chamber of Commerce. "But there's another side that says, we still need to be careful if we don't want to go back."

The northwestern part of the province is now in the Orange alert level, which means that residents can now expand their household bubble to include 10 outside contacts.

"Even in the past four months, we've seen almost half of it in lockdown or in red phase for over five or six weeks, so we could not necessary see other members of our family," said Edmundston Deputy Mayor Eric Marquis.

Marquis credits the hard work of residents in getting the latest COVID-19 outbreak under control and says it's his personal objective to see at least 80 per cent of their population vaccinated before the start of summer -- and to soon join the rest of the province in the yellow alert level.