FREDERICTON (GNB) – Premier Blaine Higgs announced today that the province’s mandatory order will not be renewed on July 30 at 11:59 p.m., which will remove all restrictions in the province as it goes to Green.

“We have surpassed our goal of 75 per cent of the eligible population with their first vaccine and are now at 81 per cent,” said Higgs. “By the end of next week, the percentage of eligible New Brunswickers vaccinated with the second dose will be high enough to balance out many of the risks of living with COVID-19. With our experiences of the past 17 months, low case numbers and climbing vaccination rates, we believe we are safe to take this next step and learn to live with COVID-19 without the mandatory order.”

The end of the mandatory order will:

  • 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.

It is important to note that federal border restrictions will remain in effect.

While mandatory restrictions will cease, some facilities and businesses may choose to maintain their own policies on protective health measures. All employers and employees must adhere to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which explains duties and obligations related to communicable disease transmission.

Testing and following Public Health advice is still important. As well, the Public Health Act allows for the declaration of outbreaks and can enforce isolation requirements to protect communities when needed. This Act was in place before the pandemic and will continue when the emergency order has ended.

“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.”

“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.”

Living with COVID-19, a resource providing an overview of ways protective health measures can be incorporated to help protect individuals, businesses, organizations and communities, is available online.

Vaccination rates climb

As of today, 62.7 per cent of New Brunswickers aged 12 and older are fully vaccinated and 81.2 per cent have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

All eligible New Brunswickers can book their second dose appointments now for a date that is at least 28 days after their first dose. They are encouraged to book an appointment through a participating pharmacy or at a Vitalité or Horizon health network clinic.

To receive a second dose, bring a signed consent form, your Medicare card and a copy of the record of immunization provided after receiving your first dose.

Appointments for people who have not yet received their first dose continue to be available at regional health authority clinics and through participating pharmacies. Access to vaccines has never been easier in the province than it is right now. If you haven’t had your first or second dose yet, go to a mobile or walk-in clinic or make an appointment as soon as possible.

If you have an appointment for a vaccine but were able to get vaccinated sooner elsewhere, please be sure to contact your pharmacy or regional health authority clinic to cancel the appointment you no longer need. This will help ensure that someone else in your community can obtain their vaccination sooner.

Mobile vaccination clinics

The provincial government has launched a series of mobile clinics for those who have not yet received their first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Department of Health is working with Extra-Mural/Ambulance New Brunswick and partners from local government and the business community to organize these mobile vaccination clinics. The clinics provide walk-in service. They are intended to bridge gaps in accessibility and convenience.

Clinics are taking place today and next week at the following locations:

  • Four Seasons Complex, 2551 Route 111, St. Martins, today, Friday, July 23, between noon and 5 p.m.
  • Ambulance New Brunswick station, 523 St-Jean St., Unit A, Saint-Léonard, today, Friday, July 23, between noon and 6 p.m.
  • Village Hall, 199 Main St., Canterbury, Monday, July 26, between noon and 5 p.m.
  • Triple C Recreation Centre, 817 Rockland Rd., Rockland, Tuesday, July 27, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Juniper Community Centre, 6840 Route 107, Juniper, Wednesday, July 28, between noon and 4 p.m.
  • Recreation Centre, 160 Klokkedahl Hill Rd., New Denmark, Thursday, July 29, between noon and 4 p.m.
  • Saint-Paul Golden Age Club, 6532 Route 515, Saint-Paul, Thursday, July 29, between noon and 6 p.m.
  • Knights of Columbus Hall, 22 Hallett Rd., Beechwood, Friday, July 30, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

People attending a mobile vaccination clinic are asked to bring their Medicare card, a record of vaccination if receiving their second dose and a signed consent form. These clinics will be administering the Moderna vaccine, which can be used safely and effectively as either a first or second dose. Even if you received a different vaccine as your first dose, you can still receive Moderna for your second dose due to the interchangeability of COVID-19 vaccines. A list of upcoming mobile and walk-in clinics is available online.

Three new cases

Public Health reported three new cases of COVID-19 today.

The two cases in Zone 2 (Saint John region) are two people 19 and under. Both cases are travel related.

The one case in Zone 3 (Fredericton region) is an individual 20-29. This case is under investigation.

The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 2,350. Since yesterday, there has been one new recovery for a total of 2,293 recoveries. There have been 46 deaths and the number of active cases is 10. No one is hospitalized in New Brunswick. Since yesterday, 727 tests were conducted for a total of 376,470.

Reminder of Yellow level

All zones remain in the Yellow level under the province’s mandatory order.