New Brunswickers overjoyed by news of province setting re-opening date
FREDERICTON -- The reaction to Thursday's announcement was swift and overwhelmingly positive.
After 15 months of waiting, finally having a date to work toward had some New Brunswickers crying.
For the tourism sector, the idea of opening New Brunswick's borders to visitors is emotional, says Carol Alderdice of the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick.
"If all goes well, and boy do we pray that all will go well, being able to go green August the second? I mean, oh my God, I mean what great work -- I'm so proud to be a New Brunswicker," Alderdice said.
It's no secret the pandemic has been a challenge for tourism operators and all businesses.
Reaction to Thursday's news took moments, says Krista Ross, the executive director of Fredericton's Chamber of Commerce.
"We've already heard from some of members who are telling us that they are -- they now have a plan, they now have targets, they now know what the goals are, they know what the dates are," Ross said.
But, some of their recovery will take longer than the reopening day of Aug. 2, and so supporting local will be critical.
"This has been a terribly long 14 months and a very difficult time for our business community and we need to get out there and support them and make sure that we are helping them get back on their feet," Ross said.
There is some skepticism because we've been given dates before and the virus had other plans.
"It's a little bit surprising and a little bit ambitious," says Frederictonian Jason Stephenson.
He says he'd also like to see a date for his second shot.
"In order to get there, we have to get vaccinated," Stephenson said. "So, if there's any takeaway from this news conference today, it's just more reason than before to get vaccinated."
Alderdice hopes this news will spark summer plans because if all goes well, she says New Brunswick operators are looking forward to welcoming all Canadians, once again.