Due to increasing COVID-19 numbers, the Newfoundland & Labrador and New Brunswick governments have increased capacity and travel restrictions for their provinces.
New Brunswick has announced that on December 28, 2021, it will move to Level 2 in its Winter Action Plan. This will result in capacity restrictions for retail and quick service restaurants (QSRs). Although the move to Level 2 is concerning, RCC is relieved that retailers will be allowed at least one day of Boxing Day sales on December 27th (December 26th is a stat holiday in all of Atlantic Canada) before the capacity restrictions are enforced. Capacity restrictions are already in force in the rest of the Maritime Provinces.
Newfoundland and Labrador will move to Alert Level 3 on December 23, 2021. This move does not directly affect retail but it closes cinemas and restricts restaurants to 50 per cent capacity with physical distancing between tables. This is disappointing for quick service restaurants (QSRs) as this was the second capacity reduction of the week, announced by government.
Level 2 in the Winter Action Plan includes the following restrictions:
- Restaurants, retail stores, malls, businesses, gyms, salons and spas, and entertainment centres may continue to operate, but at 50 per cent capacity and with two metres of distance between patrons.
- Patrons dining at restaurants must show proof of vaccination and tables must be at least two metres apart.
- Personal gathering limits lowered from a steady 20 to a steady 10
- All travellers, including New Brunswickers returning to the province, must register or have a multi-use travel pass. Travellers arriving by air will be provided with a rapid test kit.
- Unvaccinated people entering the province must isolate and be tested on day 10. International travellers must follow federal testing and isolation guidelines and must be tested on day five and day 10.
- Any household in New Brunswick with a positive case of COVID-19 must isolate for 14 days, regardless of vaccination status. Individuals advised by Public Health or a physician, including confirmed cases of COVID-19, must isolate. More information about isolation is available online.
- Travel for commercial reasons is treated differently. The previous commercial travel rules still apply.
- More information on the Winter Action Plan.
- See Press Release.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Under Alert Level 3:
- Performance spaces, cinemas and bingo halls are closed.
- Fitness facilities are permitted to open, with a maximum capacity of 100 people or 50 per cent capacity per room, whichever is less. Physical distancing between households must be maintained.
- Restaurants are open at 50 per cent capacity with physical distancing.
- Informal gatherings are limited to a household’s Steady 20 (consistent contacts).
- It is strongly recommended that employers support employees to work from home, where possible.
As noted in an earlier RCC member notice:
- Beginning December 19, 2021, anyone who is fully vaccinated and deemed a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case will need to isolate for seven days.
- As of December 21, 2021, all fully vaccinated travelers to the province will need to isolate for five days upon arrival.
This decision will be reassessed on January 10, 2022 to determine if the Alert Level can change at that time. See press release.
RCC will continue to work with the Newfoundland & Labrador and New Brunswick governments to ensure that COVID-19 related health measures do not needlessly impede the ability of retailers to conduct business.
For questions or more information contact
Director, Government Relations (Atlantic)