N.S. and N.B. premiers willing to take strict measures to enforce social-distancing

HALIFAX —
Public Health officials continue to remind the public that social-distancing is the best way to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

However, governments say, if people keep ignoring these life-saving practices, they may have to step up enforcement.

In an interview with CTV News on Wednesday, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said, although they have put in very strict restrictions to limit public gatherings to no more than 50 people, more restrictions may need to be put in place.  

“There’s always going to be those cases where people choose not to, but each time we hear and identify certain situations, we start restricting further,” said McNeil. “For example, today we closed gymnasiums, gyms, we’re closing some other shops, and we’ll continue to monitor that to insure that people adhere to the advice of our public health officials.”

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs says he’s also concerned with how people have been responding to their recommendations.

“I am concerned, and I think with the students being home, we’re seeing that gatherings are still an issue,” explained Higgs. “You go through the mall and you still see large crowds at the mall and so, I am prepared to go the distance as necessary and we’re evaluating over the next 24-hours because we need people to listen.”

“But going the distance is basically saying we will need places to close and these are the places that need to close.” 

Higgs reiterated in Wednesday’s interview that this is not a drill, and government requires cooperation from everyone to get the COVID-19 outbreak under control.

“We need to convince people that they need to think about it when they’re travelling, do I really need to do this? Do I really need to go to this store? Or can I make one trip and do it for many people so I can minimize the impact?” said Higgs. “And I’m just not sure if we’re getting that.”

Both premiers say they have also had discussions about closing government-run facilities like liquor stores, but haven’t made any decisions at this stage.

On Wednesday, Prince Edward Island announced they will close all government-owned liquor stores as of 2 p.m. Thursday in hopes it will help with social-distancing and slow the spread of COVID-19.

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