With the federal government looking at ending its mandatory three-day hotel isolation for international travellers, many New Brunswickers wonder how the change might affect COVID-19 rules at the provincial level.
The answer seems to be: it won’t.
But hope is not lost, since the province has its own plan.
Status quo theoretically means a New Brunswicker coming back from, say, Florida with a connecting flight in Toronto would have to spend three days in a hotel when they land there – then another seven days in a hotel in New Brunswick.
Premier Blaine Higgs saying Friday that never made much sense to him.
“I never thought it was effective,” says Higgs. “Get to your destination and then do your isolation. Then you’re good.”
Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said Friday conversations with her provincial counterparts as to when a plan for dismantling the quarantine requirement could come are pending.
In New Brunswick though, the end of hotel isolations is plotted in the province’s reopening plan.
With many people in such a situation having to pay for the hotel(s) out of pocket, it makes for a costly trip. So, when can travellers enter N.B. without being forced into a hotel?
For now, the answer depends on where they’re coming from and their vaccination status. In general, though, the answer appears to be: August.
As of June 7, anyone travelling from P.E.I., Newfoundland or the Avignon and Témiscouata regions of Quebec can do so without self-isolation or testing requirements.
Then, as of July 1, those freedoms will extend to anyone coming from Nova Scotia. They’ll also apply to people from elsewhere in Canada who have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Those without a dose will still have to isolate for five to seven days pending a negative test result.
After Aug. 2, as long as 75 per cent of New Brunswickers aged 12 and up have received both doses, self-isolation altogether looks to be done away with provincewide, according to the government’s three-phase Path to Green.