UPDATED: Moncton Transitioning Back to Orange Level; Changes to provinces recovery plan
Zone 1 (Moncton region) moves to Orange level as of midnight tonight under the province’s revised COVID-19 recovery plan.
Public Health recommended the return to Orange level due to the doubling of cases in less than six days, outbreaks in settings of high vulnerability where there is a risk of community transmission, and reports of situations where some individuals were not complying with public health measures.
“Recent news about a vaccine is promising but it will not be available until next year. In the meantime we need to buy some time and get any outbreaks under control quickly,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “Based on advice from Public Health, some changes are being made to our recovery levels which will allow more businesses to keep operating in the Orange level while also encouraging people to reduce the number of their close contacts.”
Amended recovery levels
In the Orange level, subject to the Public Health and WorkSafeNB COVID-19 general guidance, the following apply:
- Single household bubble. A household bubble can be extended to caregivers or to an immediate family member requiring support.
- Essential travel only is recommended in and out of Orange level zones, however, people can continue to travel within the province for work, school, essential errands and medical appointments.
- Outdoor gatherings with physical distancing of 25 people or fewer are permitted.
- Faith venues can operate under a COVID-19 operational plan. In-person services are limited to 50 participants, or fewer depending upon the size of the facility, with two metres of physical distancing. Continuous mask wearing is required. No singing is permitted. Other indoor religious observances, funerals, celebrations of life, marriage ceremonies, receptions and social gatherings of more than 25 people are prohibited.
- Wearing face masks is mandatory in public spaces, both indoors and outdoors. Outdoor public spaces include parks, playgrounds, markets, festival sites, dog parks, and walking trails. A mask is not required while walking, jogging or cycling with people in the same bubble, where they are unlikely to encounter people, or risk coming within two metres of, people from outside their bubble.
- Non-urgent medical procedures and elective surgeries are allowed.
- Strict visitor restrictions are to be maintained in settings with vulnerable people.
- Primary care providers and regulated health professionals may operate but are urged to use virtual appointments whenever possible.
- Unregulated health professionals, barbers, hair stylists or spas may operate under a COVID-19 operational plan, with enhanced public health measures such as active screening of patrons, closed waiting rooms, and enhanced barriers.
- Daycares and K-12 schools are open under strict guidance. Virtual teaching is to be used for at-risk populations. Day camps are allowed.
- Post-secondary educational institutions may operate.
- Outdoor recreational activities are allowed, including campgrounds, ATV or snowmobile trails.
- Recreational and sport organizations may operate but are limited to practices and/or skills and drills within a single team.
- Gym, fitness facilities, and yoga studios may operate under a COVID-19 operational plan with additional public health measures, including: Two metres of physical distancing, with masks, in low-intensity fitness classes such as yoga, tai chi, and stretching; and three metres of physical distancing for high-intensity activities such as spin, aerobics and boot camp; active screening and record keeping of patrons; and closed locker rooms/common areas.
- Entertainment venues such as casinos, amusement centres, bingo halls, arcades, cinemas and large live performance facilities may operate under a COVID-19 operational plan. The occupancy limit is set at 50 or fewer, depending upon the size of the venue and the ability to ensure two metres of physical distancing, with continuous mask use and record keeping.
- All other businesses, including food, beverage and retail, may operate under a COVID-19 operational plan. Distancing of two metres is required where food and beverages are served. Record keeping for seated venues is a requirement. Single household bubbles must be maintained. For example, people may not sit with people from another household at a restaurant.
All other zones in New Brunswick remain at the Yellow level. During this time, Public Health measures and guidelines must still be followed.
“Everywhere around us the pandemic is intensifying,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “Our successes against the pandemic, gained through months of hard work and vigilance, can be lost very quickly. That is why we are acting now. We must stay ahead of this pandemic, or it will overwhelm us as it has overwhelmed other jurisdictions.”
Changes to Yellow level
- Informal indoor gatherings of up to 20 people are permitted, and close contacts should be limited to a consistent list of family and friends.
- Sports teams can continue to play, following their operational plan, and tournaments or larger events may be permitted, subject to the approval of a plan.
- Faith venues can continue to be open as long as one metre of distance is maintained, and everyone is wearing a mask. Masks must be worn, and two metres of distance must be in place, for singing to be permitted – otherwise, no singing is allowed.
Changes for cross-border New Brunswick workers outside the Atlantic bubble who are returning to New Brunswick will come into effect at midnight tonight.
The new measures require New Brunswick workers to undergo self-isolation for 14 days unless they volunteer to test for COVID-19. Modified self-isolation is no longer possible.
A person can be voluntarily tested for COVID-19 up to two times, depending upon the length of their stay in the province, and become exempt from self-isolation if they have no symptoms and test negative on their day five-to-seven test and complete a second test depending on their length of stay in the province.
The number of tests required is based on length of time in New Brunswick as follows:
- One test performed around day five to seven for people staying five to nine days in New Brunswick.
- Two tests performed around days five to seven and days 10 to 12 for people staying more than 10 days in New Brunswick.
Individuals who do not complete all the tests required cannot continue to be exempt, and must complete any remaining self-isolation days to a total of 14 days. This does not apply to truckers or daily commuters. It also does not apply to people travelling into the province under the authority of an operational plan approved by WorkSafe New Brunswick, as this already involves a work-isolation requirement.
Testing must be scheduled using the online self-referral tool and will be completed at an assessment centre nearest the individual.
To find out the boundaries of each health zone, see the map available at: