The third phase of New Brunswick’s COVID-19 recovery plan begins on Friday and will be rolled out over the course of several weeks.
“We have limited the spread of COVID-19 within our borders. Now we can focus more on support businesses and organizations as well all adjust to the new normal,” said Premier Blaine Higgs.
“We are still facing a global pandemic and this will continue to bring unforeseen challenges.”
The third, or “yellow” phase, will allow New Brunswickers to get a haircut as barbers and hairstylists are permitted to open.
Social bubbles will also be extended to include family and friends, but the government is still asking people to keep their bubbles as small as possible and keep indoor gatherings to 10 or fewer people.
On May 29, more businesses will be permitted to open, including swimming pools saunas and water parks, yoga and dance studios, gyms and rinks.
That same day “low contact” sports will be permitted, provided they can show how they plan to limit close contact.
Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health, said public health officials will work with sports leagues to ensure they can begin with as little risk as possible.
The province’s regional health authorities will also be increasing the number of elective procedures being performed.
As of June 19 overnight camps will be allowed to operate.
While people will be left to decide who will enter their bubble of close family and friends, officials are still asking people to use their best judgement and keep them as small as possible.
Russell acknowledged that every step on the path to recovery involves risk and says the government has to trust people to do the right thing.
“It’s about balancing those risks and trusting the public to do the right thing,” she said. “They have to continue to act like COVID-19 is still circulating in the province within the province and will continue to do so … while outside of our borders have cases all around.”
Russell says that physical distancing is still encouraged “at all times” when in public.
“That is going to be the guidance in perpetuity while we wait for a vaccine,” she said.
Health officials say no new cases have been recorded since Thursday when the province reported its first new case of COVID-19 in two weeks.
The total of confirmed cases currently sits at 121 with only one case being considered active.
There have been no COVID-19 deaths in New Brunswick.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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