a close up of a flag

© Provided by The Canadian Press

FREDERICTON — New Brunswick is reimposing travel restrictions on residents of Quebec’s southern Gaspe area, which has seen its COVID-19 alert level rise.

Premier Blaine Higgs said Thursday only residents of the Listuguj First Nation and Pointe-a-la-Croix, near Campbellton, N.B., will be allowed to make day trips into New Brunswick. The new rule enters into effect Friday.

The move follows last week’s decision to reimpose travel restrictions on residents of Quebec’s Temiscouata region, which is close to Edmundston, N.B. Residents of southern Gaspe and of Temiscouata are still permitted to make day trips into New Brunswick for essential reasons such as medical appointments, approved work and child custody arrangements.

On Aug. 1, New Brunswick’s government had opened its so-called travel bubble, permitting day trips for residents of three border regions in Quebec: the southern Gaspe area, the Temiscouata region, and the Listuguj First Nation.

But following a rise in COVID-19 infections across the Quebec, Higgs began tightening his province’s borders once again. On Thursday, Quebec authorities announced the southern Gaspe was moving into the yellow, “pre-alert” stage of the government’s COVID-19 alert system.

Aside from residents of Pointe-a-la-Croix and the Listuguj First Nation, anyone from Quebec — and from outside Atlantic Canada — who enters New Brunswick for non-essential travel will need to isolate for 14 days.

Higgs said Thursday in a news release there are currently no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Listuguj First Nation or in Pointe-a-la-Croix.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health, said, “Public Health will continue to closely monitor the situation for any changes. We are continuing to ask everyone to take very simple steps to reduce the spread of the disease.”

Meanwhile, New Brunswick reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.

Health authorities said one case involves a person in their 40s from Fredericton who got sick while travelling in Ontario and is now recovering there. The second case involves a person in their 60s from the Moncton area who had travelled outside the Atlantic region and is now in isolation in New Brunswick.

As well, the province reported that a resident of Quebec who works in the Campbellton region has tested positive and is in isolation in Quebec. Contact tracing has begun to identify those in New Brunswick who may have come into contact with the Quebec resident.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in New Brunswick stands at 199, which includes 191 people who have recovered, two who died from the virus and six active cases.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2020.

The Canadian Press