With a new record high number of COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia, tighter restrictions are returning in all areas of the province, Premier Iain Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, announced today, April 26.
“COVID does not respect municipal borders – and so, we need all Nova Scotians to act accordingly,” said Premier Rankin. “Please adhere to public health measures by staying close to, or at, home, avoid non-essential activities or travel, do not gather, wear a mask and get tested regularly. We’ll get through this together.”
People should avoid travel outside their own community unless it is absolutely necessary such as for school, work, health care, child care, child custody, legal requirements, and family visitation under the purview of the Department of Community Services.
Effective immediately, all school field trips and school-organized activities that bring students from different schools together, such as sports and music, have been stopped.
“We need to limit the virus’s ability to spread by reducing the opportunities for people to come together,” said Dr. Strang. “For the next four weeks, I’m asking everyone to roar back at this virus by hunkering down close to home as much as possible, reducing your contact with other people and getting tested regularly.”
Restrictions announced last week for Halifax Regional Municipality, Hubbards, Milford, Lantz, Elmsdale, Enfield, Mount Uniacke, South Uniacke, Ecum Secum and Trafalgar remain in place.
In all other parts of the province, the following restrictions are effective 8 a.m. Tuesday, April 27, and will remain in effect until at least May 20:
- the gathering limit is 10 total, both indoors and outdoors
- no social events, special events, festivals, arts/cultural events, sports events, wedding receptions, or funeral visitation or receptions
- faith gatherings are limited to 25 per cent of indoor capacity to a maximum of 100 or 150 outdoors, with physical distancing
- wedding and funeral ceremonies hosted by a recognized business or organization can have 10 people, plus officiants
- maximum of 25 people, with physical distancing and masks, for meetings or training hosted by a recognized business or organization
- maximum of 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors for sports practices and training but no games, competitions or tournaments
- maximum of 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors for arts and culture rehearsals but no in-person performances
- virtual gatherings and performances can be held with a maximum of 25 people in one location, with physical distancing
- restaurants and licensed establishments operate at 50 per cent capacity, provide service until 11 p.m. and close for seated service by midnight
- Casino Nova Scotia in Sydney, VLTs and First Nations gaming establishments operate at 50 per cent capacity, provide food and beverage service until 11 p.m. and close at midnight
- licensed and unlicensed establishments and organized clubs can operate at 50 per cent to host activities such as darts, cards, pool and bowling following their sector plans and guidelines for these activities
- retail businesses and malls can operate at 50 per cent capacity and must follow other public health measures
- personal services such as hair salons, barber shops and spas can operate but cannot provide any services that require the client to remove their mask
- indoor fitness facilities like gyms and yoga studios and sport and recreation facilities like pools, arenas, tennis courts and large multipurpose recreation facilities can operate at 50 per cent capacity
- outdoor fitness and recreation businesses and organized clubs can operate with 25 people and physical distancing
- maximum 50 people for businesses and organizations offering a wide variety of indoor recreation activities, such as indoor play areas, arcades, climbing facilities, dance classes and music lessons
- museums and libraries can operate at 50 per cent capacity
- in private indoor workplaces such as offices or warehouses, masks are mandatory in all common areas, places where there is interaction with the public, areas with poor ventilation, and areas where distance cannot be maintained
- visitors, volunteers and designated care providers are allowed at long-term care facilities
- visitors are allowed at homes licensed by the Department of Community Services under the Homes for Special Care Act and residents can have community access
- all adult day programs for persons with disabilities funded by the Department of Community Services are open
- all adult day programs for seniors remain closed provincewide
Nova Scotians can find the restrictions that apply in their area at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/county-restrictions/lookup/
People who do not follow the gathering limit can be fined. The fine is now $2,000 for each person at an illegal gathering.
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)