New Brunswick

Province enforces tighter restrictions in orange-phase regions

New Brunswick's plea to the public to follow COVID-19 rules were backed up with enforcement and fines over the weekend.

Tickets issued for not wearing masks outdoors in Saint John

Stacey Johnston was issued a ticket Saturday in Saint John for not wearing a mask. (Submitted/Saint John)

New Brunswick is following through on its plea to the public to follow the rules of the Emergency Measures Act.

The Moncton and Saint John region are back in the orange phase with tighter restrictions following a spike in new COVID-19 cases recently. 

The province was true to its word on the weekend that it would have police and peace officers inspecting public spaces and businesses to make sure people are following the rules.

Stacey Johnston was fined $292.50 on Saturday for not wearing a mask outside of Walmart in Saint John.

Johnston and her cousin had just finished getting groceries when they stopped outside the store to have a cigarette.

They pulled down their masks while they were smoking. Both were fined.

"There was no firm warning, or anything. It was just, 'You don't have your mask on fully, so you're getting a ticket,'" Johnston said. 

Premier Blaine Higgs indicated the entire province could move to orange-level restrictions if the rise in cases continues. (Gary Moore/CBC)

Johnston said she knew Saint John had moved back into the orange phase earlier that day, but didn't know everything that came with it.

"Why don't they give people the chance to see this information before they start ticketing people?" she said.

According to Johnston, they weren't the only ones without a mask in the parking lot.

Johnston said the officer who issued them their tickets noticed other people walking across the parking lot without a mask and dealt with them after Johnston got her ticket.

Restaurants checked

Enforcement officers were also monitoring businesses in the Moncton region.

Government officials were at a Dixie Lee in Bouctouche Sunday. 

The restaurant was told to enforce single-household bubbles at each table or face a fine.

The business didn't have enough staff to deal with the request so it closed the dining room.


With files from Radio-Canada