New Brunswick

Some cross border to get home, others 'just for the hell of it' on first day of Phase 2

On the first day of eased travel restrictions into New Brunswick on Thursday, people drove in from Quebec for a variety of reasons, including getting to their homes and "just for the hell of it."

Isolation no longer required for vaccinated people coming from outside Atlantic provinces

Vehicles lined up at the New Brunswick-Quebec border on Thursday for the first day of Phase 2 of New Brunswick's "path to green," which introduced new freedoms on travel into the province. (Gary Moore/CBC)

Jocelyne Johnson couldn't wait to enjoy the freedom of simply being able to cross the New Brunswick-Quebec border on Thursday.

On the first day New Brunswickers were allowed to do so, Johnson, and her husband, George Johnson, got in their car from their home in Sainte-Basile — just outside Edmundston — and drove across to Dégelis, Que. 

"Just for the freedom of it — just for the hell of it, because we used to do that all the time. When there's something you're not allowed to do you miss it."

As part of its "path to green," New Brunswick entered its Phase 2-round of eased restrictions on Thursday, which include allowing free movement into the province from the Atlantic provinces, along with free movement into the province from the rest of Canada as long as travellers complete a travel registration form and have at least their first vaccine dose.

Jocelyne and George Johnson of Sainte-Basile, N.B., drove across to Dégelis, Que. just to enjoy the freedom of being able to for the first time in months. (Gary Moore/CBC)

Though the Johnsons only travelled a few kilometres outside New Brunswick, Jocelyne said the freedom is exciting, as they can eventually go visit their daughter and grandsons who live in Quebec City.

For Jacques Eelaney, the easing of restrictions meant an easier road trip to get to his home on Magdalen Islands.

Before Thursday, Eelaney said he would have had to drive all the way from Quebec to Souris, P.E.I., to catch the ferry there to the islands.

Jacques Eelaney said the eased restrictions made his journey to his home on the Magdalen Islands a lot easier. (Gary Moore/CBC)

But with the eased restrictions, he was able to alter his moving plan to allow for a one-night pit stop in Shediac.

"Wonderful," Eelaney said of the new rules. "Because we don't have to drive all the way through New Brunswick and P.E.I. and all the way to Souris. We're able to stop over, and we like to stop in Shediac once in a while."

Motorists enter N.B. on first day of eased restrictions

3 months ago
2:39
Drivers lined up to cross the border from Quebec after New Brunswick started allowing fully vaccinated people into the province without making them self-isolate. 2:39

Eelaney said he also has some family in New Brunswick he hasn't seen in two years, and hopes to go visit now that he can.

"That will be very nice."

Moving to a new home and province can be stressful, but the new rules on Thursday made that a bit less so for Herve Pasquier and Veerle Debets.

Veerle Debets and Herve Pasquier said the new rules will make settling into their new home in Oromocto a lot easier as they won't need to self-isolate. (Gary Moore/CBC)

The two crossed into New Brunswick as part of their move from Petawawa, Ont., to Oromocto.

"It was a bit of a relief because now we no longer have to isolate, so that makes our move a lot easier … with the movers so they don't have to wait two weeks to deliver our furniture," said Pasquier, a member of the Canadian Armed Forces.

"If anything, it will help us ease into our new home and sort out our move and doing all the administrative stuff like changing our licence plates and changing our address. So it's nice."

With files from Gary Moore

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