New Brunswick announces further measures for those who travel our of province for work
New COVID-19 border measures for New Brunswick workers travelling or returning to the province for work purposes come into effect at midnight tonight.
“To further protect the health and safety of New Brunswickers, we are accepting the recommendation of Public Health and implementing these new COVID-19 border measures,” Premier Blaine Higgs said. “These measures are necessary because almost 95 per cent of the COVID-19 cases in our province are the result of travel or someone who has been in close contact with another traveller who was positive.”
Workers entering or returning to New Brunswick from outside the Atlantic bubble are now subject to modified self-isolation directives for 14 days with the option of returning to regular public health measures in the province by being voluntarily tested for COVID-19 and having negative results and no symptoms. 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.
“The risks of COVID-19 are increasing outside the Atlantic bubble which means we have to double down on decreasing risks within New Brunswick and the Atlantic Bubble to get us through the winter,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health.
As outlined in the state of emergency mandatory order, which was renewed today, modified self-isolation means a 14-day period during which a person is able to leave isolation to access essential goods and services, including necessities of life and supporting services, health care, goods and services required for work, banking and financial services, transportation, child care, animal care, and funeral or visitation services for members of their immediate family.
In addition, a person can be voluntarily tested for COVID-19 up to three times depending upon the length of their stay in the province. Testing must be scheduled using the online self-referral tool and will be completed at an assessment centre nearest the individual.
For example, a New Brunswick worker who has returned and plans to remain in the province for three weeks before leaving again will be required to undergo modified self-isolation unless they are voluntarily tested three times around days 0-2, 5-7, and 10-12. If the first test comes back negative, they are relieved from modified self-isolation until their next test. If after the third test they are free of symptoms and continue to test negative, they would no longer be subject to modified self-isolation after the 10th day. Individuals will need to continue to wear a mask while in public and follow Public Health guidance.
Individuals intending to remain in New Brunswick for shorter periods can be tested the number of times required based upon the length of their stay. If they plan to remain in the province for one to four days they would need one test to exit modified self-isolation. If they plan to remain five to nine days, two tests would be required.
A 14-day self-isolation upon entering or returning to the province is still required for non-essential travel such as following a vacation, visiting family or moving to New Brunswick.
Under the mandatory order, travel into Restigouche County by residents of Listuguj First Nation and of Pointe-à-la-Croix, Quebec for the purpose of accessing essential goods and services not available in their own community up to two times within a seven day period is now restricted to between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Those residents who have pre-registered and been approved through the New Brunswick Travel Registration Program are permitted to enter without self-isolation to attend school, to access child care, or to obtain essential goods and services.
Public Health and the Department of Justice and Public Safety will monitor the impact of these changes to inform future travel options.