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COVID-19 Updates News Health Care
COVID 19 restrictions end in New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador

There have been 317 COVID-19-related deaths in New Brunswick since the start of the pandemic.


By Kevin Bissett

FREDERICTON — New Brunswick has lifted all COVID-19 restrictions, but the province’s chief medical officer of health said Monday that doesn’t mean the pandemic is over.

Dr. Jennifer Russell said New Brunswickers will continue to be infected, and she strongly encouraged continued mask use — especially for people who are at a higher risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19.

“We have taught the public about the risks and how to mitigate and manage those risks. Being able to do that without a mandatory order is important, so that we’re not using too much force and weight of the law to change people’s behaviours,” Russell said in an interview.

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As of Monday morning, residents are no longer required to wear masks in public places or limit the size of gatherings. All businesses and organizations can operate at full capacity and without the requirement for physical distancing.

Russell said individuals and some businesses and facilities may choose to maintain their own policies.

“Much of the population is ready, but I know there are some people who are split on that in terms of some people wanting to move forward and some not wanting to move forward,” she said. “It’s important to respect people’s opinions on that and their feelings on that.”

She said it’s important for people to realize that public health officials still encourage mask wearing. “We don’t want people feeling judged or feeling stigmatized or ostracized for wearing a mask,” she said.

Russell said vaccinations remain the chief protective measure. As of Monday, 87.3 per cent of New Brunswickers aged five and over had received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, while 50.6 per cent have also had their booster shot.

There have been 317 COVID-19-related deaths in New Brunswick since the start of the pandemic.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the provincial public health emergency declared on March 18, 2020, ended Monday morning just after midnight, effectively lifting all rules requiring masks, social distancing and capacity restrictions.

But some businesses, including the St. John’s International Airport, will still require patrons to mask up.

Some restaurants, including the Nook and Cannery in downtown St. John’s, will also be asking patrons to continue wearing masks if they’re not eating or drinking. In a Facebook post, the restaurant said the rules will stay in place “for the ongoing safety of immune compromised staff and regular customers.”

The province reported a total of 1,262 new cases of COVID-19 last Thursday and Friday, up from the 947 cases reported those days in the week before.

Students and staff in Newfoundland and Labrador schools will also continue to wear masks at least until April 14.

Nova Scotia will lift its COVID-19 restrictions on March 21, while Prince Edward Island has set a target date of April 7.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 14, 2022.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2022.  


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