The New Brunswick government has announced stricter requirements for COVID-19 quarantines in the latest effort to curb the recent surge in new cases.

Beginning Friday, November 19 at 6 p.m., all members of a household with a positive case of COVID-19, regardless of their vaccination status, must isolate for 14 days. This directive applies to any household anywhere in New Brunswick.

Household members who are fully vaccinated will be able to leave isolation with a day five negative PCR test. A day 10 PCR test must still be taken to confirm the negative result.

 “As we have done through this pandemic, we are adjusting our strategies to precisely target what is causing the current spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer. “About 49 per cent of new cases reported in the past seven days are a result of transmission within a household. Targeting our approach by having household members isolate will help to reduce this.”

Officials say those who violate the Public Health order to self-isolate face a fine of between $480 and $20,400.

Meanwhile, circuit breaker measures in zones 1 (Moncton region) and 7 (Miramichi region) will be lifted at 6 p.m. Friday.

“It is incredibly important that we get the spread of this virus under control, especially with the holiday season approaching,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “The circuit breaker measures worked well in most zones, but after six weeks they were not having the desired effect in Zone 1, the Moncton region, and we needed to change our approach. We have to find the balance between what we think of as back to normal and living with the reality of COVID-19.”

Job protection is in place in New Brunswick for people who are not able to work because they have COVID-19, are caring for an infected person with whom they have a close family relationship, or are following self-isolation or quarantine protocols as directed by Public Health. Further details are available online.

Deadline for New Brunswick public service employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19

To ensure a healthy and safe workplace, the New Brunswick government made it a requirement for all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Friday, Nov. 19. Employees without two doses, or without a first dose and a confirmed appointment for their second dose, will be placed on leave without pay.

The majority of employees in the departments, health care, education and crown corporations are fully vaccinated or have received at least one dose of vaccine and have a confirmed appointment for their second dose. Currently, 1,995 public employees in New Brunswick or 3.3 per cent are unvaccinated.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.