New Brunswick is reinstating a state of emergency effective 11:59 p.m. of today (Sept 24th) and is also imposing additional restrictions.
The province says the measures are required due to rising hospitalizations due to COVID-19.
Currently, there are 573 active COVID-19 cases in the province, and 31 individuals in hospitals including 15 in ICUs. The province reported 3 additional deaths today bringing the total to 52.
“It is unfortunate to return to a state of emergency, however it is necessary,” said New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs. “Our province must take these steps now. We need to slow the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the number of hospitalizations does not continue to rise.”
All public health measures previously announced will remain in place.
List of New Restrictions effective Sept 24, 11:59 pm:
New measures include limiting contacts, ensure physical distancing is maintained, and require certain businesses and events to have a vaccination or masking-and-testing workplace policy.
- People must limit their contacts to their household plus 20 consistent contacts.
- Indoor private gatherings will be limited to 20 consistent contacts.
- There will be no limits on outdoor gatherings, as long as physical distancing is maintained.
- Businesses and events where people gather or exercise, including museums, cinemas, theatres, bingo halls, casinos, amusement centres, arenas, game rooms, pools halls, live entertainment venues, weddings, funerals, gyms, yoga studios and similar venues must ensure all employees are fully vaccinated or are continuously masked and tested regularly. Patrons and participants entering such events remain required to be fully vaccinated.
- Physical distancing is required at businesses, services or events where proof of vaccination is not required, such as grocery and retail stores, private businesses and libraries.
- Faith venues have the option to either ensure all participants show proof of full vaccination, or implement the following measures:
- operate at 50 per cent capacity;
- maintain physical distancing;
- ensure continuous mask use;
- record names of all attendees or have assigned seating;
- eliminate singing from services; and
- prevent anyone displaying COVID-19 symptoms and those who have been instructed to self-isolate from entering.
New Brunswick made indoor masks and proof of vaccination mandatory to access certain businesses since Sept. 22nd. Anyone entering New Brunswick is also required to pre-register through the New Brunswick Travel Registration Program.
The province says new orders and vaccine mandate spot checks will be conducted by enforcement officers at borders and at businesses, and fines between $480 and $20,400 will be issued if businesses or individuals are not complying with the rules.
As per the news release, the government will review the mandatory order every two weeks, but will be lifted only if the number of hospitalizations falls to 10 or fewer. Mandatory orders will be reinstated once again if 25 or more people are hospitalized due to COVID-19.