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COVID-19: Public has mixed reaction to N.B. move to green

Click to play video: 'New Brunswickers giving mixed reactions over removal of restrictions' New Brunswickers giving mixed reactions over removal of restrictions
New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs announced that the province’s mandatory order will not be renewed on July 30, which means that all COVID-19 restrictions in the province will be removed as it goes to Green. It’s a move that’s garnering mixed reactions from the public. Nathalie Strugeon has more. – Jul 24, 2021

The decision by Premier Blaine Higgs to move to the green phase of COVID-19 public safety measures regardless of where the vaccination totals fall has garnered some mixed reactions from the public.

On Friday, Higgs made the announcement alongside Chief Medical Officer of Health Jennifer Russell, who thanked New Brunswickers for their hard work in the continued battle against COVID-19.

Read more: COVID-19 restrictions in N.B. to end sooner, now slated for July 30

“There will be no provincial restrictions. Period,” Higgs said Friday.

The move comes at odds with previous messaging given by the government and Public Health about reaching the target of 75 per cent of eligible residents who would be fully vaccinated.

Traveller Jamie Hunter said that in his most recent visit to Prince Edward Island, it was a little uncomfortable being around people without masks on.

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Read more: COVID-19: Health authority in N.B. flip flops, eyes making vaccines mandatory for staff

 

“I think it’s exciting, but it is a little unnerving,” he said in an interview Friday. “We’ve been in protocols for so long and distancing. We’re in P.E.I. — P.E.I. removed their masks weeks ago, and I was standing in a store in Montague, and everybody except me wasn’t wearing a mask. They didn’t have a mask on — I found that unnerving.”

Others were overjoyed, saying in street interviews with Global News they felt confident with the current rates of vaccination.

Many people Global News spoke to outside the Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market said they are more than ready to get back to ‘normal’ because COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere soon. Others still said they wished the government had waited just a little longer.

Read more: N.B. making ‘tremendous progress’ with COVID-19 vaccinations: Russell

As of July 30 at 11:59 p.m., officials said there will be no more limits on gatherings or the number of people allowed in theatres, restaurants and stores, and that masks will not be required in public.

However, the province said some facilities and businesses may choose to maintain their policies on protective health measures.

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New Brunswick makes milestone over the weekend

With just a week left before the end of the emergency order that began in March 2020, New Brunswick also hit 1,000,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

First doses of the vaccine sit at 81.4 per cent, and fully vaccinated New Brunswickers are at 63.6 per cent of those eligible for the vaccine.

There were no new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, with 10 active cases. No one is in hospital.

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