Atlantic bubble loosens restrictions on some public gatherings
HALIFAX -- As Quebec and Ontario tighten restrictions in the face of hundreds of new cases of COVID-19, more restrictions are being loosened within different parts of the Atlantic bubble.
Larger groups are permitted to get together for things, including sports -- and sporting events.
The Scotiabank Centre is putting it's best step forward, preparing to re-open with a Mooseheads game on Saturday.
"Typically a sold-out Mooseheads game would have over 10,000 people," says Erin Esiyok-Prime, the marketing manager for Events East. "Obviously with everything that has been going on from a health and safety protocol, that's just not possible right now, but I think Moosehead fans are really excited to get back in the building."
But before entering, they'll have to take a look at their ticket to make sure they're going to the right zone.
"We have bubbles of no more than 200 people with a total capacity of about 2,000," said Esiyok-Prime. "So, what you'll find is that you'll be asked to go to a specific entrance that will be noted on your ticket and then within your zone you'll have your own dedicated concessions, washrooms and then the entrance exit."
Beginning Thursday, the number of people who can play or perform in an organized sports activity or performing arts event without keeping a two-metre distance will go from 10 people to 50. Face coverings are not required, but are encouraged.
Louise MacDonald operates a music education business for children.
She welcomed families back in September and is keen to keep her numbers low for the time being.
"The feedback we're getting is that everybody feels safe and welcome and we've made the decision to keep our numbers lower," MacDonald says. "It will have a bit of a financial impact on the business because it will take longer to grow back what we've lost since March. However, we feel that our families are the most important thing and their safety."
The Neptune Theatre was at work on a production of Billy Elliott when the pandemic shut them down.
The ability to have more people working on a stage is a moot point here, as they likely wouldn't start rehearsing until they could have a full theatre, says Neptune Theatre artistic director Jeremy Webb.
The Neptune can normally hold 450 people in their theatre, but COVID restrictions would only allow between 90 and 105 people depending on how they are bubbled together at home.
"Unfortunately, that is very small percentage of what we would normally need to run even the smallest production on our stage, so it's still not quite viable," Webb says.