New Brunswick inches closer to final phase of re-opening
ST. MARTINS, N.B. -- With more than 88,000 visitors through its gates during last year’s record-setting season, the operators of the Fundy Trail Parkway are hoping this summer once again brings in strong numbers to the southern N.B. tourist attraction.
The Fundy Trail, which is located near St. Martins, offers more than 30 kilometres of parkway along the rugged coastline of the Bay of Fundy that can be seen by hiking, biking or driving.
“It’s an open park where people can get out, even if they still have concerns about COVID and restrictions,” says president of the Fundy Trail Development Authority James Donald.
“We’re hoping with the borders open we’ll have more traffic from outside, and still maintain the New Brunswick people that are visiting," says Donald.
New Brunswick is now allowing Canadians from outside of the Atlantic region with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine to enter the province without needing to self-isolate.
A development that’s sparking hope for the recovery of the province’s tourism industry in the midst of the pandemic, however, Donald suspects there still some hesitation when it comes to booking.
“Most of it has been internal so far, it’s almost like people are waiting to see what’s happening with all of the openings – and hopefully it will be strong out of the gate when school is done and summer hits," he says.
Starting Monday, all New Brunswickers are eligible to get their second dose of vaccine – as long as 28 days have passed since they received their first.
As of Sunday, 76.3 per cent of the eligible population has received a first dose and 18.7 per cent are fully vaccinated – climbing a full percentage point over Saturday.
“Over the past seven days, 76,837 appointments have been booked for clinics being hosted by either Vitalité or Horizon. This number does not include appointments made with pharmacies,” a statement from GNB department of Health spokesperson Gail Harding reads. “The number of appointments booked on Saturday was 7,070.”
This as the province urges more New Brunswickers to book their second dose, either through a participating pharmacy or at a clinic offered by the Vitalité Health Network or Horizon Health Network.
“We are going in the right direction, even if the percentage for the first dose is not climbing very fast, I think it’s going the right way” says Liberal health critic JC D’Amours. "We are closer and closer to 80 per cent and I'm very pleased to see that."
New Brunswick’s third and final stage of reopening is scheduled for August 2, but only if 75-percent of New Brunswickers aged 12 and older have received their second dose and are fully vaccinated.