Proof of vaccination requirement comes to New Brunswick

NEW BRUNSWICK – “It’s important that we impact the daily routine of people who could be vaccinated and have chosen not to.”

Those were the words of Premier Blaine Higgs on Wednesday, Sept. 15 on the heels of Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, announcing New Brunswick had seen its highest ever daily total of COVID-19 cases at 63.

“We are trying desperately to recognize those that have been vaccinated,” said Higgs, “and to allow them to have life as normal as possible.

“But what this means; if we continue not getting the rates and levels that we need, then we have to keep moving deeper, which means more impact on everyone’s daily life.”

The impact Higgs is talking about?

New Brunswick moves to requiring proof of vaccination to enter most non-essential businesses, sports centres and sporting events, events services, and activities at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 21.

“We went through the pandemic without a solution,” said Higgs.

“But now we have a solution and we’re asking people to take advantage of that.”

Higgs said while the original target of 75 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers being fully vaccinated originally seemed a good number, the province is now looking for 90 per cent of all eligible New Brunswickers to be fully vaccinated before these new restrictions, which have been enacted under the Public Health Act and Family Services Act, will be reconsidered.

From the GNB website:

“People will need to show proof of vaccination whenever they access certain services, businesses and events, including:

·         indoor festivals, performing arts and sporting events;

·         indoor and outdoor dining and drinking at restaurants, pubs and bars;

·         movie theatres, nightclubs, amusement centres, pool halls, bowling alleys and casinos;

·         gyms, indoor pools and indoor recreation facilities;

·         indoor group exercise facilities;

·         indoor organized gatherings including weddings, funerals, parties (excluding parties in a private dwelling), conferences and workshops;

·         indoor organized group recreational sports, classes and activities; and

·         visiting a long-term care facility.

Events, businesses and services that fall under these categories must ask to see proof of vaccination and government-issued identification from all patrons and participants who are 12 and older.

Individuals who are unable to receive a vaccine due to a medical exemption will be required to show proof.

Businesses will have access to materials such as posters to inform their patrons about the new regulations. Business owners with questions about the rules may contact the Business Navigators at 1-833-799-7966 or nav@navnb.ca

Higgs said the decision had been made by cabinet on the advice of Public Health to raise the rates of vaccination and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the province.

He said of the 797 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since July 1, 697 or 87 per cent have been in people who aren’t vaccinated or have only one dose of a vaccine.

“We want you to set aside your doubts,” said Russell.

“I ask that you put your community first.  Everyone who can be vaccinated must be vaccinated.”

For further details on the proof of vaccination requirements, click here.

editor@stcroixcourier.ca