HALIFAX -- The province of New Brunswick announced Tuesday that provincial parks and 'major' tourist attractions will reopen "during the coming weeks."

"All appropriate measures will be in place to ensure the safety of visitors and employees. Services will be offered differently than before but, by following the Public Health directives, we will be able to enjoy again the wonders and beauty of our province while continuing to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus," said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Bruce Fitch.

The province said the parks and attractions will reopen with "limited services" and no bells and whistles. That means no events, programming or "co-ordinated activities."

Here's a list of the provincial parks that will reopen and when:

On May 15:

  • Mactaquac
  • New River Beach
  • Anchorage (Grand Manan Island)
  • Oak Bay (on May 14)
  • Fundy Trail Parkway

On May 22:

  • Herring Cove (Campobello Island)
  • Mount Carleton
  • Murray Beach
  • Parlee Beach
  • de la République
  • Val-Comeau

Sugarloaf Provincial Park will reopen on May 22 with the services limited to trails, public washrooms, seasonal and daily camping, as well as the bike park with chairlift service.

The Acadian Village will open on June 9, the Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park will open on June 5, the Botanical Gardens on June 6, and Kings Landing (from Wednesday to Sunday only) on June 3, with these services:

  • trails;
  • public washrooms;
  • hotel (Acadian Village);
  • interpretation (where physical distancing is possible);
  • shuttle services (limited services in some attractions);
  • gift shops (limited services); and
  • restaurant (limited services).

No dates have been established yet for these provincial tourist attractions:

  • Cape Enrage;
  • Miscou Island (lighthouse and visitor information centre);
  • Doak provincial heritage place;
  • Bonar Law provincial heritage place;
  • Sheriff Andrews provincial heritage place;
  • Ministers Island provincial heritage place; and
  • MacDonald Farm provincial heritage place

Because New Brunswick's borders are still closed to non-essential travel, the parks, campgrounds, and tourist attractions covered by Tuesday's announcement are "only accessible to New Brunswick residents and other individuals that have the proper authorization to be in the province," the government said in a news release.

More information about the respective parks and attractions will be released through their websites and social media accounts.

Province provides guidelines for farmers markets

Farmers markets will be allowed to reopen if they can ensure physical distancing measures and other recommendations of the chief medical officer of health are followed.

“Our farmers markets are an essential part of our food-supply chain, and we appreciate the work they are doing to provide local, safe and healthy food to New Brunswickers in these difficult times,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Ross Wetmore.

Farmers markets will have to develop an operational plan as will each vendor.

More information on how to establish these operational plans is available online.

Operators of farmers markets who have questions can contact the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries through the Opportunities NB Business Navigator line by emailing nav@navnb.ca or by calling 1-833-799-7966.

No new cases of COVID-19

In other news, the number of cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick remains at 120, with just two active cases and nobody in hospital.

As of Tuesday, New Brunswick public health says it has performed 18,379 tests.

The province is in the second phase of "recovery" as it eases pandemic restrictions under the state of emergency that was declared in March.

"New Brunswick is currently in Phase 2 (Orange) of the COVID-19 recovery, which is aimed at the reopening of businesses and activities while working to prevent a resurgence of transmission," a government news release said.

You can find more information on the province's recovery plan here.

Once again, the government reminded people of the measures they should take to slow or prevent the spread of the virus in the New Brunswick:

  • Stay within your two-household bubble.
  • Maintain two metres of physical distance between yourself and others when you go out.
  • When physical distancing cannot be maintained, face masks that cover your mouth and nose will be required to be worn in public.
  • Frequently wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve.
  • Regularly clean commonly-touched surfaces in your home, such as doorknobs and countertops.

The province also encouraged people to contact Tele-Care 811 if they are showing any two of the following symptoms:

  • fever above 38°C;
  • a new cough or worsening chronic cough;
  • sore throat;
  • runny nose;
  • headache;
  • a new onset of fatigue;
  • a new onset of muscle pain;
  • diarrhea;
  • loss of sense of taste or loss of sense of smell; and
  • in children, purple markings on the fingers or toes. In this instance, testing will be done even if none of the other symptoms are present.

New Brunswickers can also do an online self-assessment to help you determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.