New Brunswick to move to Green phase on July 30, lifting all public health restrictions
HALIFAX -- New Brunswick will move into the Green phase of its recovery plan on July 30, lifting all public health restrictions and opening the province to travel, Premier Blaine Higgs announced Friday.
“This morning, Cabinet and the all-party cabinet committee on COVID-19 agreed that New Brunswick’s mandatory order will not be renewed on July 30. This will lift all mandatory travel and public health restrictions that have been in place since the pandemic began," said Higgs during Friday's news update.
As of 11:59 p.m. on July 30, the following restrictions will be removed in the province.
- Lift all mandatory travel and public health restrictions that have been in place over the course of the pandemic.
- Lift all provincial border restrictions; provincial border checks will cease, and registration will no longer be required to enter New Brunswick from anywhere in Canada.
- Lift all limits on gatherings and the number of people within facilities. Capacity limits in theatres, restaurants and stores will no longer be required.
- End the requirement to wear face masks in public.
"We came to this decision because we have reached our goal of 75 per cent of our eligible population having received their first vaccine, and are now at 81 per cent," said Higgs on Friday. "We know that there will be new cases, but thanks to the amount of people that are already vaccinated, we do not think that our health care system will be threatened."
As of midnight on July 30, all provincial border restrictions will be lifted, provincial border checks will cease, and registration will no longer be required to visit New Brunswick from anywhere in Canada.
However, travellers will still be subject to Canada's federal restrictions on International travel.
“We will be living with COVID-19, so we encourage New Brunswickers to continue to practise protective health measures such as hand-washing, coughing in your elbow, staying home when sick and wearing a mask if you so choose,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “This virus is still with us and we should all expect to see cases as normal travel returns. If you have symptoms, get tested.”
During Friday's news update, Higgs and Russell emphasized that some facilities and businesses may choose to maintain their own policies on protective health measures, even after restrictions are lifted.
“When we move to Green, not everyone will feel ready to jump back into life as if nothing happened. We all will have to adapt to this new environment in our own way,” said Higgs. “For some, the return to normal will be at a fast pace. Others may want to ease out of the safety measures we have been surrounded by for so long. There is no right way to do this. Everyone must do what feels best for them while remaining safe.”
THREE NEW CASES ANNOUNCED FRIDAY
New Brunswick is reporting three new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, along with one recovery, as the active number of cases in the province rises to 10.
Two of the new cases were identified in the Saint John region (Zone 2), involving two people ages 19 and under, are both related to travel.
One new case was identified in the Fredericton region (Zone 3), involving an individual in their 20s, and remains under investigation.
New Brunswick has had 2,350 cumulative cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
In total, 2,293 people have recovered, and 46 people have died in the province from COVID-19.
There is currently no one hospitalized in New Brunswick due to COVID-19.
"We are approaching having one-million COVID-19 vaccines in the province, a very important milestone in our fight against the virus for our province and the country,” said Russell. "While we are well on our way to getting as many New Brunswick’s vaccinated as we can, we must remember that the COVID-19 virus still exists and can still spread. While case numbers have been low, we are still encouraging anyone having symptoms to make an appointment to get tested.”
On Thursday, 727 tests were conducted in the province. A total of 376,470 tests have been conducted since the beginning of the pandemic.
The number of cases is broken down by New Brunswick’s seven health zones:
- Zone 1 – Moncton region: 490 confirmed cases (six active cases)
- Zone 2 – Saint John region: 300 confirmed cases (two active cases)
- Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 449 confirmed cases (two active cases)
- Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 754 confirmed cases (no active cases)
- Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 185 confirmed cases (no active cases)
- Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 133 confirmed cases (no active cases)
- Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 39 confirmed cases (no active cases)
THOUSANDS OF VACCINE APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE
In a release issued Tuesday, New Brunswick health officials say there are thousands of first and second dose Pfizer and Moderna appointments available at regional health authority clinics and participating pharmacies.
Vaccination clinics are taking place every day this week with appointments available in each region. New Brunswickers who have yet to be immunized with two doses of vaccine are encouraged to book an appointment through a participating pharmacy or at a Vitalité or Horizon health network clinic.
New Brunswick's COVID-19 online dashboard provides an update on the amount of vaccines that have been administered to date.
As of Friday, 997,798 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in New Brunswick. The province says 81.2 per cent of the eligible population has received at least one dose, with 62.7 per cent now fully vaccinated.
All eligible New Brunswickers can book their second dose appointments if at least 28 days have passed since their first dose.
To receive their second dose, New Brunswickers are asked to bring a signed consent form, their Medicare card and a copy of the record of immunization provided after receiving their first dose.
Appointments for people who have not yet received their first dose continue to be available to all New Brunswickers aged 12 and older at regional health authority clinics and through participating pharmacies.
Public Health is also reminding New Brunswickers to keep a copy of their Record of Immunization form as their official proof of vaccination.
YELLOW LEVEL REMINDER
All of New Brunswick remains under the Yellow level of recovery under the province’s order, which will be lifted effective 11:59 p.m. July 30.