'I think it’ll be a relief for a lot of people': New Brunswickers eager to enter Green phase of reopening on July 30
It's a decision that's still all the buzz in New Brunswick - in a little less than a week, the province will be lifting all of its COVID-19 restrictions as it moves into the much-anticipated Green phase of reopening.
The move will allow New Brunswickers to have a taste of normalcy after more than a year of pandemic-restrictions
Effective on July 30 at midnight, the province’s mandatory order will not be renewed. It means all restrictions in the province will be lifted including no limits on gatherings, the number of people in facilities, and masks will no longer be required.
"New Brunswickers are doing what it takes, and while it took us a few extra days to reach phase 1, Phase 2 came quickly," said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health.
With Phase 3 around the corner, New Brunswickers will have some adjusting to do, although there's a certain amount of discretion.
Russell said that even after all restrictions are lifted, businesses may continue to limit the number of people allowed inside and can continue to practice other COVID-19 measures.
Some of those working in Wharf Village are relieved to see restrictions lifting, since being under the green level will bring in more business before the summer season ends.
"I think we’re definitely moving in the right direction. I think it’ll be a relief for a lot of people. It is a little nerve-wracking, but I don’t think they would do it unless we were ready," says employee Sarah Perreault.
With news of the mandatory order coming to an end sooner than expected, the president of New Brunswick’s Medical Society Dr. Jeff Steeves says that they are cautiously optimistic.
He said he “encourages citizens to continue following lessons that helped keep us safe throughout the pandemic...”
As of Saturday, the province has fully vaccinated 63.6 per cent of the eligible population, while 81.4 per cent have received their first dose.
But the province is still urging people who have yet to be immunized with two doses to book an appointment.
Meanwhile, mobile vaccination clinics are set up in communities across the province for people who still haven't received their first or second doses.
And as of midnight on July 30, all provincial border restrictions will be lifted and registration will no longer be required to visit New Brunswick from anywhere in Canada.