Without further cases, N.L. is preparing for a new phase of reopening on Monday


Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald says increases and decreases in the number of COVID-19 cases are expected. (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador)

Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new COVID-19 cases on Friday, leaving the province’s total at 261.

On Friday, 244 people recovered from the virus, of which 9,592 were tested – 134 since yesterday’s daily COVID-19 briefing.

The province is still looking to move to level 4 of its reopening plan on Monday to begin easing public health restrictions in place since March.

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said if new cases remain low over the weekend on Monday, the goal would be in order.

“This is a huge milestone,” she said. “As we … move into this next phase of life with COVID-19, we must continue to follow the evidence-based prevention practices that have served us so well so far. “

Some easing of restrictions has already been described by Fitzgerald, including:

  • Low-risk outdoor recreational activities – including golfing, hunting and fishing – can resume, provided they are done safely.
  • Low-risk nonessential businesses – such as law firms, accounting firms, and outdoor businesses such as garden centers and landscaping services – can reopen.
  • Resumption of certain medical procedures.
  • Funerals and weddings with a maximum of 10 people, including the officiant, will be allowed. However, awakenings and visits are still prohibited.
  • Limited expansion of daycare centers.

The provincial government will publish its daily COVID-19 numbers by press release Saturday and Sunday. Information sessions will resume on Monday.

Premier Dwight Ball said there will also be easing restrictions on provincial ferries on Monday after the province crosses to level 4.

The service will no longer be limited to essential travelers only. However, the government is encouraging ferry users to travel as little as possible to help prevent the spread of the virus. Ball said passengers are always recommended to wear non-medical masks. Other restrictions will remain in place, including limiting passengers to 50% of a ferry’s regular capacity and requiring passengers to stay in their vehicle during the crossing.

Health Minister John Haggie said that as restrictions begin to lift, the provincial government is beginning to regulate almost every aspect of daily life, adding that some people are justifiably concerned.

“I think people are looking for certainty, where all we can offer is some degree of clarity in public health,” he said.

“I think next week we will see more and more of a debate about who gets what, in what order and why, and I think people should be aware that the decisions we make are based on public health principles, advice and instructions. of public health. ”

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