Phase two of New Brunswick’s COVID-19 recovery plan is expected to be revealed at the province’s public health update on Friday.
At Wednesday’s public health briefing Premier Blaine Higgs told businesses to prepare to reopen, with an update coming by the end of the week.
“I’ve been encouraging businesses for weeks to prepare for the new normal and reopening. We are just days away from announcing that, in fact, it will be this week,” Higgs said.
“I am asking you again to plan and prepare, determine how you can operate within the public health guidelines, (like) physical distancing, cleanliness and handwashing.”
It has been two weeks since the first phase of the plan was released. That phase allowed for two-family bubbles and the use of outdoor spaces.
According to a chart provided by the province on April 24, the second phase could allow retail stores, offices, daycares and restaurants to reopen and allow elective surgeries to resume.
A guide released by the Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John chambers of commerce earlier this week provides some clues around what exactly businesses will have to do in order to reopen.
Operational plans will be mandatory and detail how physical distancing will be observed, screening and disinfecting procedures, the use of education signage and handwashing requirements.
“We felt at the time we decided to do it that opening would be imminent and we didn’t want people to be caught unaware or told they could open and not have them be in a position to be ready,” said Krista Ross, CEO of the Fredericton chamber of commerce.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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