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Nova Scotia still plans to enter Phase 5 next week

'While masking will no longer be mandatory, we strongly recommend people continue to voluntarily wear their masks indoors,' said Dr. Robert Strang
090821 - strang houston
Premier Tim Houston and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, at a COVID-19 briefing on Sept. 8, 2021

Nova Scotia still plans to enter Phase 5 of its reopening plan next week.

Dr. Robert Strang said, as of 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 15, masking, physical distancing and gathering limit protocols will be lifted. 

"The fourth wave is gaining steam and we can expect to see ongoing COVID activity during the fall, however, I truly believe Nova Scotia is ready," the province's chief medical officer of health said at a Wednesday briefing.

"We have shown we can do what needs to be done in the past, and our vaccination rates are among the highest in the world."

As of Sept. 8, 71.7 per cent of Nova Scotia's overall population has been fully vaccinated, another 6.5 per cent has had their first dose.

Phase 5 requires 75 per cent to have both shots and Strang is confident we can reach that benchmark by next week.

"While masking will no longer be mandatory, we strongly recommend people continue to voluntarily wear their masks indoors, especially when in close contact with others," he said.

Health care facilities, businesses and other organizations will be allowed to continue to require masks if they want. 

Masks will also continue to be mandatory in schools until Monday, Sept. 20 "to allow students, staff and teachers time to transition to Phase 5," Strang said.

"And make no mistake, required masking will also be one of the first measures brought back if cases rise in a certain area or setting," the doctor cautioned.

The province also announced, as of Oct. 4, proof of full vaccination will be required for non-essential services and activities, such as dining out, or going to a fitness facility, movie, theatre performance, concert or sporting event.



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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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