Effective Saturday, April 24 at 11:59 pm (and revised Sunday, April 25 at 11:59pm), the Province has brought in new rules regulating travel in and out of New Brunswick. Chief Medical Officer Jennifer Russell has expressed concern regarding the detection of variants of COVID-19 in the Province which spread faster. These new measures are anticipated to limit the spread of COVID-19 pending a majority of New Brunswickers receiving a first dose of vaccine in approximately ten weeks time.
Changes to Self-Isolation Guidelines
- NB Daily Commuters: those who travel outside of New Brunswick for work, school or business (with no overnight stay) are now subject to “modified self-isolation”. This means upon their return they must stay at their residence for 14 days. They are only permitted to leave their residence for necessary reasons, which includes work, school, medical needs, food or other essential items (contactless pickup). These individuals are no longer required to test weekly for COVID-19. Those who reside with a daily commuter, while not formally restricted in their activities, are advised to limit their contacts.
- NB Commercial Truckers– the same requirements that apply to daily commuters of “modified self-isolation” outlined above now apply also to Commercial Truckers.
- NB Rotational Workers: those who work outside of New Brunswick (with overnight stays) whose schedule is rotational must now isolate upon their return for 14 days. They must isolate in a separate housing unit in which no other person lives, or, if they isolate in a home with others, every member of the household must isolate for the entire period, even if that period is extended longer than 14 days because someone develops symptoms of COVID-19. This means that even if the rotational worker leaves NB again, the remaining household members must complete the isolation period. Isolating individuals are not permitted to leave their isolation except for necessary reasons, which includes medical needs, food or other essential items (contactless pickup). Rotational workers are still required to submit to testing on day 10 after their return. These requirements apply regardless of whether or not the rotational worker has received a dose of vaccine.
- Student Travel – students returning to NB from PEI, Newfoundland and Labrador or NS, and those assisting them with moving back, must isolate for 14 days. They must isolate in a separate housing unit in which no other person lives, or, if they isolate in a home with others, every member of the household must isolate for the entire period, even if that period is extended longer than 14 days because someone develops symptoms of COVID-19. Isolating individuals are not permitted to leave their isolation except for necessary reasons, which includes medical needs, food or other essential items (contactless pickup).
Those students, and those who are assisting them in their move back to NB, who have been outside the Atlantic Provinces in the last 14 days, or who have stopped in or are returning from Hubbards, Lantz, Elmsdale, Enfield, South Uniacke, Ecum Secum, Trafalgar and/or the Halifax Regional municipality, are not exempt and must attend an isolation facility (further described below).
Those who are entering NB to assist a student in moving back to their home province may enter NB without isolating or attending an isolation facility provided they minimize human contact while in NB and leave the Province within 24 hours.
- New Default Isolation Requirements: All others entering New Brunswick must isolate at an isolation facility (further described below). However, many of the same exceptions that applied to the previous self-isolation requirements, continue to apply. These exemptions now include:
- Out of Province Daily Commuters – these individuals, while exempt from isolation requirements upon entering NB, are required to not stay in NB overnight, restrict their activities in NB to work or school and test negative for COVID-19 weekly.
- People travelling in and out of NB for medical or veterinary care – these individuals, while exempt from isolation requirements upon entering or returning to NB, are required to work-isolate and test negative for COVID-19 weekly (does not apply to travel to NS or PEI).
- Residents of Listuguj First Nation and Point-a-la-Croix, Quebec – residents travelling between these two regions are exempt from isolation requirements as long as they are symptom free, test negative for COVID-19 weekly and for residents of Point-a-la-Croix, Quebec, have not left that region in the last 14 days.
- Residents of Campbello Island – residents entering NB at St. Stephen or Milltown, while exempt from isolation requirements are required to travel through Maine without stopping or if required to stop for necessities, must follow the guidelines of this Order.
- Travelling for Child Custody/Child Care Reasons – these individuals, while exempt from isolation requirements upon entering NB, are required to test negative for COVID-19 weekly (except those under the age of 2 and those travelling to NS or PEI only).
- Commercial Travel – pilots and crew of commercial and charter aircraft, water vessels and trains are exempt from isolation requirements if they test negative for COVID-19 weekly. This exemption will also apply to Commercial Truckers who do not reside in NB, and either drive through NB to another destination or stop in NB to deliver goods with limited human contact, if they also test negative weekly for COVID-19.
Note that Commercial Truckers who reside in NB no longer receive a complete exemption. Commercial Truck Drivers now fall under the “modified self-isolation” requirements noted above.
- Summons – those who are entering NB in compliance with a Summons are exempt from isolation requirements.
- Palliative Family Member – those who are approved to enter NB by the Chief Medical Officer for an end-of-life visit with an immediate family member may receive an exemption or adaptation to isolation requirements.
- Critical Infrastructure – those who are approved to enter NB by the Chief Medical Officer because they are necessary for the maintenance of services and functions necessary to health and safety and to the maintenance of critical infrastructure may receive an exemption or adaptation to isolation requirements.
NOTE: Anyone entering New Brunswick by vehicle, and who is required to isolate, must not travel with anyone else in their vehicle to their place of isolation (except those entering NB with them and taxicab operators). In other words, carpooling or being picked up by a family member is no longer permitted.
NEW: Isolation Facilities
- Those who must attend an isolation facility upon their return to NB will be provided an opportunity to test for COVID-19 around the 5th day after their return. If they test negative, they will have the option to complete the remaining days of their isolation period at another site of their choice conditional upon:
- a commitment to have another test on day 10 after their return; and
- a housing unit in which no other person lives (except those they arrived with) including a bathroom, kitchen and sleeping quarters.
- Those who test positive, those who refuse a test on day 5 and/or day 10 and those who do not have a separate housing unit that meets the above requirements, will be required to complete their self-isolation in the isolation facility.
- Those who are required to attend an isolation facility are responsible for the cost of their stay (which the Province has announced will be approximately $200/day) except those who:
- as of April 24, 2021 at 11:59pm are outside NB for work or in connection with a death or serious illness in their family;
- as of April 25, 2021 at 11:59pm reside outside Atlantic Canada or in NS in Hubbards, Lantz, Elmsdale, Enfield, South Uniacke, Ecum Secum , Trafalgar and/or the Halifax Regional Municipality to attend school; or
- return to NB to complete a period of self-isolation ordered in another jurisdiction because they tested positive for COVID-19.
- Peace Officers are authorized to order persons to a specific isolation facility. Further, they are authorized, if necessary for safety, to detain those who must attend an isolation facility and deliver them safely to the hotel or to arrange for their delivery.
The revised Order now sets out the penalties for non-compliance. Fines can range from $480 to $20,400 for each instance of non-compliance. Additionally, if a person is non-compliant over a period of days, each day will constitute a separate offence.
The revised Order now authorizes any person with knowledge of a violation of the Order to report to any peace officer all of the information they are aware of, including whatever personal health information must be reported, to enable an investigation into the violation.
No Change to Levels of Recovery
Edmundston and the upper Madawaska region remain in lockdown. The communities of Saint-Léonard, Grand Falls, Drummond, New Denmark and Four Falls remain in the Orange level of recovery. The requirements for the Orange and Lockdown regions remain the same. All other zones and communities in the province, including the Saint-Quentin and Kedgwick regions in Zone 4 remain in the Yellow level of recovery.