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Phase 2 of Nova Scotia's reopening plan kicks in Wednesday morning (update)

'Get ready for Phase 2 tomorrow,' said Premier Iain Rankin on Facebook Tuesday morning
UpdateJune7-1 - rankin
Premier Iain Rankin at a COVID-19 briefing on June 7, 2021

Phase 2 of Nova Scotia's reopening plan kicks in at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

"You can now enjoy a meal inside, and start to go to the gym again, opening at 50 per cent, start to go more and more to retail operators that are now increasing capacity to 50 per cent," said Premier Iain Rankin at a Tuesday briefing. "Recognized businesses and organizations are permitted to start organizing outside and indoor events with restrictions. Long-term care residents can enjoy activities."

"And starting tomorrow, you can expand your friends and family social circle. Ten can gather indoors, with 25 outdoors, so for those of you who have been away from family, tomorrow you can get that long-awaited hug," he added. 

The province's chief medical officer of health stated this gathering limit applies to informal get-togethers not hosted by a recognized business or organization.

"When a gathering like a funeral, wedding, arts performance or a community event is hosted by a recognized business or organization, starting tomorrow they can have up to 75 people outdoors, or 50 per cent of the capacity to a maximum of 50 people indoors," said Dr. Robert Strang. "And within these overall numbers there can be small groups, 10 indoors and 25 outdoors, who do not need to physically distance, but there must be distance between the groups. This also applies to meetings, training, performances and other events."

"This is a little different than originally planned in Phase 2, but we've had some feedback from stakeholders, looked at our epidemiology and I believe these additional steps are safe."

Sports and amateur performing arts rehearsals can resume practices, training and rehearsals following the informal gathering limits of 10 inside and 25 outside without distancing.

According to the province's website, live music featuring one performer can return to bars, restaurants and patios, both inside and outside.

Hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons and body art establishments will be able to offer services that require the removal of a mask, as long as it's by appointment.

Bingo, cards, darts and pool hosted by licensed establishments can resume.

Museums and libraries can open at 25 per cent capacity, along with other recreation and leisure businesses, including dance classes, music lessons, indoor play spaces and escape rooms.

Day camps can operate with 15 people, including staff and volunteers.

"Children who are not yet school-aged will no longer have to wear masks at child care centres," Strang added.

Seasonal property owners and people moving to Nova Scotia permanently can now apply to come here.

"This does not yet include people who are coming to rented or leased seasonal residences, like cottages or RVs at campsites, and for all these people, a 14-day quarantine is still required on arrival," Strang said.

"We know that the border measures have been difficult on those who live away and have lost loved ones here. In Phase 2, people can apply for exceptions to attend funerals for an immediate family member and things will also be less restrictive for end-of-life situations."

Community-based adult day programs can resume, following public health guidelines.

Long-term care residents can leave their facilities to go for a walk, and go through a drive-thru with a designated caregiver. 

"In Phase 2 group activities and dining for immunized residents can resume ... we're also allowing community-based programs for seniors and for people with disabilities to resume," said Strang.

"These may seem like small steps, but will add up to spending a summer together safely," he added. "We want to keep moving forward but right now that means slowly and cautiously with optimism about the future."

The province has also announced visitors from New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador can come to Nova Scotia without self-isolating as of next Wednesday, June 23.

Currently, Nova Scotia is on track to open to the rest of Canada by no later than July 14.

Here's the full list of restrictions are being eased provincewide in Phase 2:

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



Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana and lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the editor for CityNews Halifax.
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