The New Brunswick government released its Winter Action Plan for COVID-19 on Friday, as it confirmed two more COVID-related deaths and 97 new cases.
In the face of a “very concerning” rise in infections over the past two weeks and a disproportionate number of cases among the unvaccinated, Health Minister Dorothy Shephard said the three-level plan with new restrictions will take effect Saturday at 11:59 p.m.
It will remain in effect until spring, she said at a live-streamed COVID-19 update.
The entire province will be in Level 1, the lowest level of restrictions, when the plan takes effect. It includes the following rules and guidelines:
- Maximum of 20 people for informal indoor household gatherings. This replaces the current “steady 20” restriction, which health officials told CBC News actually poses less risk, but wasn’t enforceable and some people were having difficulty keeping track of who their 20 consistent contacts were.
- Maximum of 50 people for informal outdoor gatherings.
- Unvaccinated residents should avoid informal indoor gatherings.
- Masks are required in outdoor public spaces when physical distancing can’t be maintained.
- Malls, grocery stores, salons must enforce physical distancing or may instead require proof of vaccination from all patrons.
- Schools will follow existing plans at this time.
- All travellers, including New Brunswickers returning to the province, must register or have a multi-use pass.
- Unvaccinated people entering the province are required to isolate and take a test on Day 10.
- All travellers arriving by air will be provided with a rapid testing kit.