Nova Scotia is lifting its border restrictions and opening to the rest of Atlantic Canada on June 23, Premier Iain Rankin announced today, June 15.
This means that residents of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador can travel to Nova Scotia and will not be required to self-isolate for 14 days on entering the province.
"Our case numbers and hospitalizations are low and every day we are putting more and more vaccines into the arms of Nova Scotians," said Premier Rankin. "Low case numbers across the Atlantic provinces are a signal that reopening to our neighbours is the right step."
The decision came in consultation with Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, and his public health team, who are constantly reviewing and evaluating the epidemiology.
"The epidemiology across the region is showing similar numbers, which allows us to ease the border restrictions," said Dr. Strang. "We will be watching the situation closely; however, as we have done before, we will move quickly if we see case numbers on the rise."
In addition, conversations with the three other Atlantic premiers are ongoing, and the province is continuing to work on co-ordinating timing to open to the rest of Canada. Currently, Nova Scotia is on track to open to the rest of Canada by no later than July 14.
As part of the province's phased-in reopening plan, testing for COVID-19 has been ramped up, including at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Nova Scotia's testing regime, which includes asymptomatic testing, has been key to controlling the virus and fighting the recent third wave.
Nova Scotia's vaccine program is ahead of schedule. Nova Scotians who were first vaccinated on or before April 24 are now able to book second doses, weeks before they were originally scheduled for their second shots.
Phase 2 of the provincial reopening plan begins Wednesday, June 16, at 8 a.m., on schedule and with more easing of restrictions, including increasing informal gathering limits outside to 25 people, and 10 people inside.
Restaurants can open to patrons for indoor dining with a maximum of 10 people per table. All retail businesses can open to 50 per cent capacity with public health protocols being followed, and gyms and fitness facilities can also operate at 50 per cent capacity.
More information on reopening is available at: novascotia.ca/coronavirus/reop