No jab, no food: New Brunswick grocery stores can now ban unvaccinated shoppers
New Brunswick Health Minister Dorothy Shephard
New Brunswick has become the first Canadian province to allow grocers to ban unvaccinated food shoppers.
Under a new provision announced by New Brunswick Health Minister Dorothy Shephard, grocery stores in the province are now allowed to turn away the shoppers who aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19.
The provision gives grocery stores, malls and salons the option of either enforcing physical-distancing rules or requiring proof of vaccination to enter their establishments.
“With winter comes colder weather, shorter days, more time spent inside and increased opportunity for COVID-19 to spread,” Shephard said. “It is important we have a plan in place that ensures our healthcare system is not overwhelmed, but also considers the mental, physical and financial health of New Brunswickers.”
Shephard suggested that abiding by the new measures won’t be difficult. “They are small actions that each person can take, but when combined, can make a big difference,” she said.
Other new restrictions include limiting household gatherings to 20 people, capping outdoor gatherings at 50 people, and requiring unvaccinated people to avoid indoor gatherings – a lonely and potentially hungry Christmas for the unvaccinated. Masks are now also required in outdoor public places when physical distancing can’t be maintained.
New Brunswick residents must register to travel, and all unvaccinated people entering the province must be quarantined and take a test to prove they’re not infected after 10 days in isolation. Tougher restrictions, such as banning non-essential travel within the province, will kick in if new cases or hospitalizations rise to certain levels.
The COVID-19 pandemic in New Brunswick is an ongoing viral pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019, a novel infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. The province of New Brunswick has the eighth-most cases of COVID-19 in Canada.
The new Action Plan, which has restrictions and rules meant to curb COVID-19 spread, is causing confusion and frustration among New Brunswickers.
Today the province registered 71 new cases and 3 deaths.
NewBrunswick is the 11th largest province/territory in Canada by area with a total area of 28,150 square miles. Estimates taken in 2018 show that the population of NewBrunswick is 761,214, making it the 8th most populous province in Canada. Over 65% of the population resides in NewBrunswick’s 107 municipalities.