Phase 2 eases COVID-19 restrictions in Nova Scotia starting Monday
Two weeks away from the complete abandonment of all COVID-19 restrictions in Nova Scotia, Monday marks the start of the second phase of reopening.
This is an accelerated reopening plan, with phase 2 arriving a week earlier than originally planned. The province plans to drop the state of emergency at 11:59 p.m. on March 20, and the third and final phase of reopening is scheduled for March 21.
From Monday, gathering limits are increased and restrictions for businesses and services are eased, but requirements for masks, social distancing tests and self-isolation remain in place.
The province has also decided to provide updates on COVID-19 numbers on a daily to weekly basis. The next report will be Thursday.
Restaurant, bar and casino capacity expands to 75%, with physical distancing, from Monday.
As part of Phase 2, Casino Nova Scotia locations in Halifax and Sydney as well as First Nations gaming establishments can resume full operating hours.
Restaurants can also open up to 75% capacity, but there is a maximum of 25 people per table and they must be household members and close social contacts. Restaurants and bars can also resume their usual hours.
Live music is allowed, as is dancing, but masking and distancing rules still apply.
Retail stores can operate at maximum capacity, again with masking and distancing. Malls must ensure customers wear masks, distancing themselves and music is kept below 50 decibels. Food courts can open at 75% capacity.
Indoor recreation offerings like rock climbing gyms, swimming pools, yoga studios, escape rooms and dance classes can also operate at 75% capacity.
Museums and libraries can operate at full capacity.
Businesses considered personal services like hair and nail salons, tattoo and body art services, and hair salons can operate at 100% capacity while maintaining a distance of two meters “as much as possible “, depending on the province. Mask requirements are still in place, but customers can remove their mask if the service they are getting requires it.
The capacity of festivals, events and cinemas also opens to 75% with physical distancing. Large venues like the Scotiabank Center and the Exhibition Center in Halifax can also open at up to 75% capacity, for up to 5,000 people indoors or outdoors.
From Monday, gatherings with people you live with or are in close social contact with will be set at 25 people indoors and up to 50 people outdoors.
Meetings such as religious gatherings, training sessions, support groups or government meetings will also have a capacity of 75%.
Up to 60 people can gather for organized sports practices and games or performing arts rehearsals and performances without social distancing. The province recommends wearing masks when people cannot maintain social distancing. It is allowed to sing and play wind instruments.
Residents of long-term care homes can have three visitors at a time, and larger groups are allowed for special occasions. Residents are also allowed to leave homes to visit families, but overnight stays are not permitted.