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Nova Scotia unveils reopening plan

Katharine Mack

Premier Ian Rankin and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang provided details on Nova Scotia’s reopening plan this afternoon.

The Province’s plan has a total of 5 phases. Phase 1, which focuses on more outdoor activities and small groups, will begin on Wednesday, June 2.  The following rules and restrictions will apply:

  • Schools will reopen to in-person learning across the province, with exceptions in Halifax and Sydney regions. Exceptions will be made for students with complex needs.
  • People are asked to limit travel in and out of Halifax and Cape Breton municipalities during Phase 1. Travel throughout the rest of Nova Scotia is allowed.
  • The outdoor gathering limit will be capped at 10 consistent people.  Indoor gathering limits will not be changing.
  • Outdoor patios may open with physical distancing. Maximum 10 people (close social bubble) per table.
  • All retail can open at 25% capacity with physical distancing/mask requirements.
  • Personal care services can open for appointment-only services, following sector-specific plans. In Phase 1 they cannot offer services which require the client to remove their mask.
  • Gyms and fitness centres can offer outdoor programs for groups up to 10. They can offer indoor training one-on-one (multiple groups of one-on-one are permitted if distancing allows).
  • Arts, cultures, sports and recreation can resume outdoor activities in groups of 10. Multiple groups of 10 are allowed. No games, league play or performances will be allowed in Phase 1.
  • Artists, musicians, dancers and actors can rehearse indoors up to 15 people as long as they have a COVID safety plan.
  • People in long-term care homes can visit with family outdoors.  Distancing is not required if the resident has had two vaccine doses.  Fully vaccinated residents can resume recreational activities on site and participate in visits by specialized workers and volunteers (e.g. hairstyles and faith leaders).
  • Work from home is encouraged where possible during Phase 1.

The restriction on non-essential travel outside your own communities remains in effect until June 1.

Each phase is expected to last 2-4 weeks, but could take longer if needed.

The Atlantic Bubble is expected to open in Phase 3. Phase 4 will allow travelers from outside Atlantic Canada to enter.

Both Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick also released reopening plans this week. PEI hopes to open its borders to travellers from within Atlantic Canada by June 27, while New Brunswick plans to open its borders to all Atlantic provinces except Nova Scotia on June 7.

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