Many Nova Scotians worried about looser border restrictions in New Brunswick

As New Brunswick lifts all COVID restrictions, many Nova Scotians are questioning whether their neighbour is moving ahead too quickly.

"I'm a little worried about that. I'm a little concerned," said Lindsay Sooley, who was shopping at Sunnyside Mall Friday with her young daughter. "Not quite sure we're there yet and it kind of worries me that we have free reign to go back and forth with them."

"I think it's premature," said Darren Corning.

"We've taken a guarded approach in the Atlantic Provinces until now and to throw off the locks and basically throw them away is I don't think the right way to go."

As of 11:59 pm Friday, New Brunswick is dropping its COVID restrictions — including mandatory masks, gathering limits and border checks.

Epidemiologist Kevin Wilson said he isn't concerned.

"There's not any evidence of a circulating virus in New Brunswick. They're kind of in the same boat that we are (Nova Scotia) and so they're not going to kind of Friday night, lift restrictions and then Saturday morning have a massive horrific outbreak. That's just not really how it works," Wilson said.

The question he believes needs to be answered is how will the Atlantic Provinces approach the risk of importing virus in the longer run, adding it's not a New Brunswick-specific problem.

"I think you're probably going to see they're going to be more tolerant of that risk but I think it might have different approaches for making testing available or requiring quarantine going forward and it's actually something the provinces should at least in the broad strokes outline," Wilson said.

Nova Scotia's Department of Health and Wellness said it doesn't anticipate any changes to Nova Scotia's border policy as New Brunswick moves into green.

Amherst's mayor David Kogon said people haven't talked to him about New Brunswick's changes. He thinks it shows the community isn't anticipating much of an impact.

"New Brunswickers when they come into Nova Scotia will have to abide by the Nova Scotia public health rules and so they will be wearing masks when they're in public places," Kogon said.