Some in N.B. are unclear how new proof of vaccination policy will be enforced

In less than a week, restaurants, bars, gyms, and other businesses will be required to ask their customers for proof of vaccination per the provincial government's newly announced regulations designed to help control the spread of COVID-19.

However, the new rules could make things more complicated for businesses and there are concerns and questions about what, exactly, the mandate means for them.

"As far as I know, the new changes are that I, as a small business owner I'm going to now have to make sure the people that come into my shop have proof of vaccination on them," says owner of Ethel & Mary's, Matthew Elliot.

"I'm not clear as to how that's going to be enforced, that's another kind of question mark for me that I don't really understand and I think it's frustrating not to have any communication about."

Louis-Phillipe Gauthier of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says that concerns among their members range from liability and enforcement, to possible cost to the business owner.

"There's already a lot of challenges in finding employees to fill those positions, so if there needs to be more staff that's required that might be a consideration as well for a business," says Gauthier.

"With what the New Brunswick government has announced, hopefully if the other governments in Atlantic Canada decide to go this way that they will be very clear in their language and they will – as the New Brunswick government has done – provide government signage that will demonstrate that businesses aren't doing this on their own, they are being mandated by government."

The province has announced new restrictions in an effort to curb the rising COVID-19 cases in New Brunswick.

On Thursday, 51 new cases were identified in the province bringing the total number of active cases to 336. Of the new cases, 47 were not fully vaccinated.

There are now 15 people in hospital with the virus and nine of those are in the intensive care unit.

Opposition leader Roger Melanson says the new measures announced by the province are a "positive thing," however he believes that more could and should be done to get the situation under control.

"I think masks are still something that needs to be looked at, is mandatory masks coming back," says Melanson,

"I think they need to bring mobile vaccination clinics where the people are … go in the schools where the kids are, go where there's major gatherings, there's baseball tournaments, the hockey rinks are reopening."