Watch here: NL reopening plan coming at 12:30 p.m. NT


Travel restrictions have been in place in Newfoundland and Labrador since May 2020. (Gary Locke / CBC)

Public health and government officials are expected to unveil a plan to reopen Newfoundland and Labrador’s borders at 12:30 p.m. NT, as part of the weekly COVID-19 briefing.

The briefing will be chaired by Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, Minister of Health John Haggie and Premier Andrew Furey, and streamed live on the provincial government’s YouTube channel.

While a coordinated restart of the Atlantic bubble has been twice delayed this spring due to COVID-19 outbreaks, the three Maritime provinces have released plans to reopen over the past week, with different goals.

New Brunswick plans to open its borders with Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and parts of Quebec on June 7, depending on the achievement of vaccination targets and its number of COVID-19 cases. On July 1, it plans to include Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada, if those travelers have a dose of the vaccine.

Prince Edward Island plans to open its borders on June 27 to the other Atlantic provinces and the rest of Canada on August 8, with no quarantine required for fully vaccinated travelers.

Nova Scotia released a three-stage reopening plan on Friday, focusing primarily on reopening things like retail businesses. The third and final phase will allow travel from other provinces.

The remaining provinces said their plans depended on epidemiology and vaccination rates.

As of Tuesday, there were 90 active cases in Newfoundland and Labrador and changes in the size of areas currently under tighter health restrictions due to clusters of COVID-19. Part of central Newfoundland along the northeast coast has relaxed restrictions from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3, while other areas along the Trans-Canada Highway from Gambo to Badger are changed to alert level 2.

In western Newfoundland, the Level 4 alert zone has been expanded in the St. George’s Bay area to include communities along Highway 403, including Flat Bay, St. Theresa and Journois .

On Tuesday, 147,143 people were tested for the virus in the province.

Newfoundland and Labrador first imposed travel restrictions on May 4, 2020, requiring non-residents to be granted exemptions to enter. The restrictions have been relaxed on occasion to allow greater freedom of movement in the Atlantic provinces, but have always been maintained for the rest of Canada.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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