The New Brunswick government has released its 'Winter Action Plan' for COVID-19, featuring a host of new public health restrictions for residents of the province.
Health Minister Dorothy Shephard announced a three-level plan that will go into effect on Saturday and remain at least until the spring, citing a "very concerning" rise in COVID-19 infections over the past two weeks.
As a part of the province's plan, all businesses — including grocery stores — will have the option of requiring proof of vaccination from all patrons.
Summarizing the restrictions soon to be imposed, the CBC reports:
The entire province will be in Level 1, the lowest level of restrictions, when the plan goes into effect Saturday. It includes the following rules and guidelines:
- Informal indoor gatherings limited to 20.
- Outdoor gatherings limited to 50 people.
- Unvaccinated residents should avoid informal indoor gatherings.
- Masks will be required in outdoor spaces when physical distancing can't be maintained.
- Malls, grocery stores, salons must enforce physical distancing.
- Malls, grocery stores, salons have the option of requiring proof of vaccination from all patrons.
- Schools will follow existing plans at this time.
"The measures are not difficult," Shephard claimed, stating that "the power to keep us in level one is in our hands."
The winter action plan has two more levels "if needed," said Shephard, which include further restrictions on private gatherings and the shutting down of all "non-essential" businesses.
New Brunswick reported 97 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. There are now a total of 711 cases across the province.