In response to a rise in COVID-19 variants in New Brunswick, the government has effectively prohibited travel into and out of the province for the next four weeks. There are exceptions to this rule – including commercial trucking – which comes into effect at 11:59pm tonight (Saturday, April 24, 2021). This decision was initially made late in the afternoon of April 23, 2021 but due to a great deal of confusion and opposition regarding the manner in which such a lockdown could occur, the government has recently amended its travel prohibition.
Following numerous communication with senior staff at the New Brunswick Department of Public Safety, RCC can confirm that beginning April 24, 2021 at 11:59pm:
- New Brunswick based leisure travelers and non-essential business travelers returning to the province must self-isolate in designated isolation hotels (at their own expense). Commercial truck drivers and regular cross border commuters are exempt.
- New Brunswick employees (who are regular cross border commuters) and commercial truck drivers can leave the province repeatedly for work but must isolate at home when they are not working. This rule applies whether or not the person has been vaccinated. These New Brunswickers are allowed to access necessities (through curbside pickup / delivery). These New Brunswickers can isolate at home with their families. Their families are allowed to go to work, school, etc. but are strongly encouraged to not engage in social interaction outside of their home.
- Commercial truck drivers from outside New Brunswick do not have to register before arriving at the NB border. The registration process will be instituted within the next five to seven days, once government figures out the best way to implement such a system. These drivers will be expected to engage in their drop offs / pick ups, then leave the province.
See the government’s updated press release.
For retailers, not much has changed. Retail product will still be allowed to enter and leave New Brunswick. Retail employees who work in New Brunswick but live in another province will still be able to travel to and from work without having to self-isolate.
The problem will be for New Brunswick based employees and commercial truck drivers who travel outside the province for work. Given that these New Brunswickers will be working regularly, it is unlikely that they will ever be able to complete their fourteen day home isolation and thus, be able to leave their home for anything other than work. As expected, trucking companies in New Brunswick and the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA) are strongly opposed to this action by the provincial government.
RCC members should prepare for possible action / protest from those who will be impacted by this decision from the New Brunswick government. It is hoped that any such action will not impact retail employees and/or the delivery of retail product through/to stores in New Brunswick.
For questions or more information contact
Director, Government Relations (Atlantic)