**** HEALTH/WELLNESS Media Release
Gathering Limit Lowered Outside Halifax, Fines Increase
Premier Iain Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health for Nova Scotia, announced changes to reduce the spread of COVID-19 today, April 25, 2021.
The gathering limit outside of Halifax has been reduced to 10 people, whether indoors or outdoors. The gathering limit remains five in Halifax Regional Municipality as well as the entire communities of Hubbards, Milford, Lantz, Elmsdale, Enfield, Mount Uniacke, South Uniacke, Ecum Secum and Trafalgar.
People are also not to travel outside their local community unless it is for essential travel, such as work, school, child care or medical or legal appointments.
These restrictions are effective immediately and will remain in effect until at least May 20.
“We are at a very serious crossroads – the virus is spreading and we need to stop it now,” said Premier Rankin. “COVID-19 has found its way into every region of our province. This is one step to help stop that but more restrictions may become necessary in the coming days.”
In addition, the fines for breaking any part of the order under the Health Protection Act will double. A first offence will now be $2,000.
Employers are also asked to encourage and support employees to work from home as much as possible to help reduce possible contacts.
“We need to assume that all cases are variant cases and they spread more quickly and more easily,” said Dr. Strang. “People are becoming positive after having moderate exposure to someone with the virus and we didn’t see that during wave one or two. We must stay close to home, reduce our social circles, physically distant and get tested.”
— additional information on COVID-19 case data, testing and vaccines is available at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/data/
— a state of emergency was declared under the Emergency Management Act on March 22, 2020 and extended to May 2, 2021
— online booking for COVID-19 testing appointments is available at https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/
Government of Canada: https://canada.ca/coronavirus
Government of Canada information line 1-833-784-4397 (toll-free)
The Mental Health Provincial Crisis Line is available 24/7 to anyone experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis, or someone concerned about them, by calling 1-888-429-8167 (toll-free)
If you need help with a non-crisis mental health or addiction concern call Community Mental Health and Addictions at 1-855-922-1122 (toll-free) weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Kids Help Phone is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free)
For help or information about domestic violence 24/7, call 1-855-225-0220 (toll-free)
For more information about COVID-19 testing and online booking, visit https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/symptoms-and-testing/