Other COVID-19 restrictions are not out, according to New Brunswick Health Minister Dorothy Shephard.
Shephard said she is concerned for all regions of the province as cases continue to rise and hospitalizations rise again.
Circuit breakers were removed in several areas, and Shephard said some, such as those in the Moncton region, were ineffective.
“We have the power to control the spread of COVID-19 and it is very worrying that the numbers are increasing, so it is very possible that we will be forced to go in that direction,” he said, noting the Christmas holidays.
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He said people know what to do to protect themselves and urges people to keep their close contacts small.
The Health Department, he said, is working on graphical information for the public to help it understand the seriousness of not following the rules in the midst of the fourth wave.
“We need them to be part of the solution, just as they have been from the beginning,” he said. “Keep your circles small.”
Circuit breakers have been removed in zones 2, 3, and 4, with the rest to be removed on November 26.
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Jean-Claude D’Amours, the liberal health critic, said it’s not really about the measures, but how they are enforced.
“You can put the measures you want, but someone has to enforce them,” he said in an interview Thursday. “We have spoken many times with public health to ask what they are doing to ensure that these measures are respected.”
He said Zone 4, where his driving is located, saw significant application, but he wasn’t sure that would happen in other zones.
D’Amours said he believes most will follow the rules, but it’s about the ones who won’t.
Green Party leader David Coon echoed concerns about circuit breakers.
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“I was very concerned when they lifted the circuit breakers,” he said. “My feeling was that they needed to be improved to better manage local and regional outbreaks.”
Coon, along with interim Liberal leader Roger Melanson, left the all-party cabinet committee on COVID-19 after the prime minister used the emergency order to force healthcare workers to return to work amid a strike.
“If I had felt that I was having a significant impact on politics, I would not have left,” he said, talking about whether he would return to the committee to have a potential impact on political decisions.
Melanson said that decisions were always in the hands of the prime minister and his cabinet; that is still the case today and his presence on the committee does not change that.
“The COVID-19 situation that we are seeing right now is worrying, so as the MLA and leader of the Official Opposition, I will continue to openly and freely offer ideas on how to address or improve the situation.”
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