Due to increasing cases of COVID-19, restrictions are returning in Halifax Regional Municipality and some communities on its borders, Premier Iain Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, announced today, April 22.
“We are using these restrictions as a circuit breaker to prevent our case count from increasing,” said Premier Rankin. “We are taking quick action to limit the opportunity for the virus to spread any further in local communities.”
The restrictions are effective Friday, April 23, at 8 a.m. and will remain in effect until at least May 20. They apply to all areas of Halifax Regional Municipality as well as these entire communities: Hubbards, Milford, Lantz, Elmsdale, Enfield, Mount Uniacke, South Uniacke, Ecum Secum and Trafalgar.
People should avoid traveling into and out of these areas unless it is absolutely necessary. Necessary travel would include for school, work, health care, legal requirements and family visitation under the purview of the Department of Community Services. Travel for shopping, social events, family visits, practices or rehearsals are not considered necessary.
“We understand this is disruptive, but it is necessary to regain control of the virus,” said Dr. Strang. “I'm asking all Nova Scotians, especially residents in these areas, to do their part to help us fight COVID-19 by supporting and following these restrictions.”
Most schools and all child care centres remain open. Beginning Friday, April 23, the following schools, which are in an area of increased COVID-19 activity, will close to students and move to at-home learning for a two-week period:
- Auburn Drive High family of schools
- Cole Harbour District High family of schools
- Dartmouth High family of schools
- École secondaire Mosaïque
- École du Carrefour
- École Bois-Joli
Staff will remain working from schools and use this time to prepare online instruction.
Families will receive more information from their schools or regional centre for education today.
All school gyms in Halifax Regional Municipality and the communities listed above will be closed for community use until at least May 20.
All other public schools in the province will continue with in-school learning. However, masks will be mandatory for all students starting Friday, April 23.
Following is a list of restrictions in Halifax Regional Municipality and the communities listed above:
- the gathering limit is five, both indoors and outdoors
- no social events, special events, festivals, arts/cultural events, sports events, faith gatherings, wedding receptions, or funeral visitation or receptions
- wedding and funeral ceremonies hosted by a recognized business or organization can have five people, plus officiants
- no meetings or training except mental health and addictions support groups, which can have 25 people with physical distancing and masks
- no sports practices, training, games, competitions or tournaments
- no arts and culture rehearsals or in-person performances
- virtual gatherings and performances can be held with a maximum of five people in one location
- restaurants and licensed establishments are closed to seated service
- Casino Nova Scotia in Halifax and First Nations gaming establishments must close
- licensed and unlicensed establishments cannot host activities such as darts, cards, pool and bowling
- retail businesses and malls can operate at 25 per cent capacity and must follow other public health measures
- personal services such as hair salons, barber shops and spas are closed
- indoor fitness facilities like gyms and yoga studios and sport and recreation facilities like pools, arenas, tennis courts and large multipurpose recreation facilities are closed
- outdoor fitness and recreation businesses can operate with 25 people and physical distancing
- businesses and organizations offering a wide variety of indoor recreation activities are closed, such as indoor play areas, arcades, climbing facilities, dance classes and music lessons
- museums, libraries and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia are closed, but libraries can offer pick-up and drop-off of books and other materials Nova Scotia Art Gallery are closed, but libraries can offer pick-up and drop-off of books and other materials
- there will be no visitors or volunteers allowed inside long-term care facilities but designated care providers can continue to provide normal service and outdoor visits can be arranged
- all homes licensed by the Department of Community Service under the Homes for Special Care Act cannot have visitors and residents cannot have community access
- all adult day programs for persons with disabilities funded by the Department of Community Services will be closed except for scheduled vaccine clinics at three of these programs
- all adult day programs for seniors remain closed provincewide
- in private indoor workplaces such as offices or warehouses, masks are mandatory effective April 23 in all common areas, places where there is interaction with the public, areas with poor ventilation, and areas where distance cannot be maintained
Outdoor activities are encouraged for physical and mental well-being as long as gathering limits are followed. For example, trails, beaches and playgrounds are open.
Regulated health professions such as dental and physiotherapy and unregulated health professions such as massage therapy and other complementary or alternative medicine providers can remain open as long as they follow the prevention plan for their sector.
People who do not follow the gathering limit can be fined. The fine is $1,000 for each person at an illegal gathering.
The full list of communities where restrictions apply will be available by 8 a.m. Friday, April 23 at: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/county-restrictions/
People can look up an address to find out what restrictions apply in their area beginning at about 8 a.m. Friday, April 23 at: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/county-restrictions/lookup/
A list of Halifax Regional Centre for Education's family of schools is available at: https://www.hrce.ca/about-hrce/school-administration/feeder-schools/family-schools
COVID-19 self-assessment: https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en
Nova Scotia coronavirus website: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/
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)
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)