HALIFAX: Beginning next week, businesses that closed as a result of the public health order can start to open, although measures to ensure physical distancing and social gathering impacts will remain for now.
Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health for Nova Scotia, announced today, May 27, the next steps toward reopening the province.
“Nova Scotians have done a lot of hard work to get us to this point,” said Premier McNeil. “I know many are eager to get back to business and restart our economy. That’s why we have worked with Dr. Strang and our public health experts and consulted many businesses and associations to land on these next steps to reopen our province safely.”
Effective June 5, most businesses required to close under the public health order can reopen. Businesses must follow protocols in the plan that is tailored to their sector. This includes following public health protocols to ensure physical distancing, increased cleaning and other protective measures for staff and customers.
The following can open if they are ready and choose to do so:
— restaurants for dine-in, as well as takeout and delivery
— bars, wineries, distilleries and taprooms
— lounges are not permitted to reopen at this time
— personal services, such as hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons and body art establishments
— fitness facilities, such as gyms, yoga studios and climbing facilities
Other health providers can also reopen on June 5, provided they follow protocols in their colleges’ and associations’ plans, as approved by public health. These include:
— dentistry and other self-regulated health professions such as optometry, chiropractic and physiotherapy
— unregulated health professions such as massage therapy, podiatry and naturopathy
Public health continues to work with the child care sector on a plan to reopen safely. June 15 is now the goal, but the reopening date will be confirmed and shared with Nova Scotians once the plan is fully approved. The primary focus is the safety of children.
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Existing public health directives around physical distancing and gathering limits remain in place. People must keep two metres apart and not gather in groups of more than five.
“I’m impressed by the comprehensive plans I have reviewed so far,” said Dr. Strang. “They clearly show these sectors are taking the health of their staff and the public very seriously and it gives me confidence they can reopen while mitigating public health risks.”
Eligible businesses, non-profits, charities and social enterprises will be able to access the new Small Business Reopening and Support Grant, a $25 million fund that will provide grants to help them open safely and business continuity vouchers for advice and support to become more resilient in the coming months. More information is available online at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus and applications will begin June 1.
Nova Scotians are encouraged to continue to:
— wash their hands frequently, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water is unavailable
— cough or sneeze into their sleeve
— avoid touching their face
— limit non-essential travel
— clean high touch surfaces frequently
— wear a non-medical mask when it may be difficult to maintain two metres distance
To date, Nova Scotia has 39,441 negative test results, 1,053 positive COVID-19 test results and 59 deaths. Confirmed cases range in age from under 10 to over 90. Seven individuals are currently in hospital, three of those in ICU. Nine-hundred and seventy-five individuals have now recovered and their cases of COVID-19 are considered resolved. Cases have been identified in all parts of the province. A map and graphic presentation of the case data is available at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/data .
If you have any one of the following symptoms, visit https://811.novascotia.ca to determine if you should call 811 for further assessment:
— fever (i.e. chills, sweats)
— cough or worsening of a previous cough
— sore throat
— shortness of breath
— muscle aches
— nasal congestion/runny nose
— hoarse voice
— unusual fatigue
— loss of sense of smell or taste
— red, purple or blueish lesions on the feet, toes or fingers without clear cause
Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus . Businesses and other organizations can find information to help them safely reopen at https://novascotia.ca/reopening-nova-scotia/ .
— testing numbers are updated daily at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus
— a state of emergency was declared under the Emergency Management Act on March 22 and extended to May 31
Government of Canada: https://canada.ca/coronavirus
Government of Canada toll-free information line 1-833-784-4397
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).