N.B. isolation hotel exemptions being given to those promising no contact
SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- It appears the New Brunswick government is granting more exemptions to its isolation hotel regulations.
Several travellers who’ve spoken to CTV since the restrictions came into effect say they’ve been given approval to isolate at home.
New exemption rules came into effect May 1, with the province telling travellers they may be eligible for an exemption if they can ensure they’ll be at a location with no contact with anybody else for 14 days.
The province says the location is required to have its very own entrance, bathroom, and kitchen area, along with its own circulating air or heating system. Those isolating away from a hotel will be visited by a provincial agent within the first two days of their isolation, with a COVID-19 test required on the fifth and tenth day.
The Department of Justice and Public Safety did not provide numbers for how many travellers are in an isolation hotel right now, nor how many exemptions have been issued.
Angela and Paul Billo are moving from Alberta to New Brunswick and received word of their exemption just after hitting the road.
“It changed the mood as you would expect,” says Paul Billo. “Now we’re like ‘OK, let’s move forward, let’s go home to our new home.”
The Canadian Red Cross is helping carry out the isolation hotel program and says its call volume has “stabilized.”
“It’s not that we’re suggesting there are no frustrations remaining or no stresses or anxieties,” says Bill Lawlor, provincial Red Cross director. “But they have been substantially reduced since the early days our activation.”