Nova Scotia Starting Second Phase of Reopening, Opening Border to Atlantic Canada

The Covid Chronicle

**** HEALTH/WELLNESS Media Release

Nova Scotia Starting Second Phase of Reopening, Opening Border to Atlantic Canada
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Premier Iain Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, announced today, June 15, that Nova Scotia will start the second phase of its reopening plan on Wednesday, June 16, and open the border to Atlantic Canadians on June 23.

Residents of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador will be able to travel to Nova Scotia without having to self-isolate. Once a person from outside the Atlantic region has completed 14 days of self-isolation in one Atlantic province, they are free to travel to Nova Scotia without further isolation requirements.

“Our vaccination coverage is going up, our cases are coming down and we’re ready to take the next step in easing restrictions,” said Premier Rankin. “With Phase 2 of our reopening plan, more businesses are able to operate and Nova Scotians have more opportunity to get together socially. We are also able to open our borders to more travelers.”

Starting June 16, people can apply through the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in to move to Nova Scotia or to enter as seasonal residents. They will receive automatic approval and then be able to enter the province if they show border officials proof that they own a seasonal residence or that they are leaving another jurisdiction and moving permanently to Nova Scotia. Self-isolation for 14 days is required.

People can also apply for an exception to enter Nova Scotia for the funeral of an immediate family member. There will be a limit on the number of people who can enter the province for each funeral. Self-isolation is required except while attending the funeral.

Until the border opens to Atlantic Canadian residents, those who wish to come to Nova Scotia for a funeral, to stay at their seasonal residence or to move to this province must follow these same application processes.

“Nova Scotians have done the hard work and we are making good progress,” said Dr. Strang. “COVID isn’t gone, but our numbers are staying low so we’re able to take more steps to reopen in Phase 2. A series of small steps throughout our plan will get us to a good place so we can enjoy summer in Nova Scotia.”

Each phase of the reopening plan is based on COVID-19 activity, hospitalizations, vaccination rates and continued testing. Heading into Phase 2, 67 per cent of all Nova Scotians have at least one dose of vaccine, cases are in single digits and hospitalizations are decreasing. Testing volume remains steady at an average of more than 6,400 per day and there is capacity to increase if needed.

Effective 8 a.m., June 16, the following restrictions are being eased provincewide:

Gatherings
— informal gatherings can have 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors without physical distance
— informal faith gatherings can have 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors plus officiants; drive-in services are still allowed with attendees following the informal indoor gathering limit in their vehicles
— informal weddings and funerals, and associated receptions and visitation, can have 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors, plus officiants
— when faith gatherings, weddings, funerals and associated receptions and visitation are hosted by a recognized business or organization, they can have 25 per cent capacity to a maximum of 50 people indoors or 75 people outdoors

Business
— restaurants and licensed establishments can operate indoors and outdoors at their maximum capacity with physical distance between patrons at different tables and a limit of 10 people per table; people must wear masks when not eating or drinking; one performer of live music is permitted; service must stop by 11 p.m. and establishments must close by midnight
— all retail stores can operate at 50 per cent capacity with no limit on the number of shoppers per household
— personal services such as hair salons, barber shops and spas can operate by appointment only following their sector plan and can resume offering services that require removing the customer’s mask
— meetings and training hosted by a recognized business or organization can have 25 per cent capacity to a maximum of 50 people indoors or 75 people outdoors
— driving schools and exams can resume
— events hosted by a recognized business or organization can have 25 per cent capacity to a maximum of 50 people indoors or 75 people outdoors; organizers need a plan following guidelines for events

Recreation and sport
— fitness and recreation facilities such as gyms, yoga studios, pools and arenas can operate at 50 per cent capacity
— a wide variety of recreation and leisure businesses and organizations, such as dance classes, music lessons, escape rooms and indoor play spaces can operate at 25 per cent capacity
— organized sports practices can involve up to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors without physical distancing
— audiences follow the gathering limits for events hosted by a recognized business or organization
— day camps can operate with 15 per group and following approved day camp guidelines
— activities such as darts, cards and bingo can resume when hosted by either licensed or unlicensed establishments following guidelines for these activities

Arts and culture
— amateur arts and culture rehearsals and virtual or in-person performances can involve up to 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors without physical distancing
— professional arts and culture rehearsals and virtual or in-person performances can involve up to 15 people indoors and 25 outdoors without physical distancing
— audiences follow the gathering limits for events hosted by a recognized business or organization
— drive-in movie theatres can continue to operate with attendees following the informal indoor gathering limit in their vehicles
— museums, libraries and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia can open at 25 per cent capacity

Continuing care
— community-based adult day programs for seniors and for people with disabilities can resume following guidelines for their sector
— long-term care residents can go for a walk off facility grounds and use drive-thrus when they go for a drive with a designated care provider; vaccinated residents can also access outdoor public areas such as a park
— recreational activities and personal services like hairstyling can resume for long-term care residents who are not fully vaccinated
— long-term care residents no longer need to be in the same groups for dining and group activities and volunteers can resume their activities

People who do not follow the public health measures can be fined. For example, the fine is $2,000 for each person at an illegal gathering.

Additional Resources:
COVID-19 testing appointments: https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en

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)

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Halifax Public Libraries, Status of Service:

Branches & Library Offices Included in Phase II Reopening

Halifax, N.S., June 15, 2021— Effective Wednesday, June 16, 2021, all locations of Halifax Public Libraries will reopen to in-person visits. In accordance with Phase II of the Province of Nova Scotia’s reopening plan, locations will offer with modified hours and reduced capacities. Updated service hours at posted on halifaxpubliclbiraries.ca/locations.

To help everyone enjoy the Library, the following safety protocols will be followed and services made available:

  • All facilities will be open, with limited capacity. Masks must be worn and social distancing maintained.
  • Outdoor programming will resume, with limited capacities and following Public Health protocols. Online events will continue as scheduled.
  • In-branch borrower services and all Book Drops will be open.
  • Public computers will be available, with limited stations and booking hours.
  • Ask the Library phone service will remain open for all inquiries.
  • Curbside Pick-up service will remain open.

For the latest in the Status of Library Service, please visit the news section of the Library’s website, halifaxpubliclibraries.ca

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