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Maritime provinces plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions with multi-step approaches


It seems the Maritime provinces have a common goal when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, with each planning to ease restrictions in a multi-step approach.

On Wednesday, New Brunswick announced it will be moving back to Level 1 of its COVID-19 Winter Plan on Feb. 18.

"I think the majority of the business community in the province is hopeful that by May 1, we will be more or less in 'normal times'," said Josh Wishart, with the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton.

A full list of restrictions under Level 1 can be found on the province's website.

Nova Scotia's new Recovery Plan will begin on Monday when it enters Phase 1 of a three-phase approach.

In the first phase, events will be allowed again, gathering limits will increase and all border restrictions for domestic travellers will be lifted.

The province's top doctor says each phase will last about a month. Moving into the next phase will depend on epidemiology, hospitalizations, case activity in long-term care facilities and employee absenteeism.

"To roll out a plan and to do it month-to-month, at this point, we've tried a lot of the other options," said Kai Kraushar, the owner of a spa and salon in Dartmouth, N.S. "That seems like it's a smart option and the way we should go. But I think we should be looking around the world and I think if other provinces are having success opening up and reopening, I think it's time for businesses to get back."

Patrick Sullivan, the president and CEO of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, says members are relieved that a reopening plan has been released.

"They're very happy that they can see the light at the end of the tunnel. They're very happy that we see restrictions coming to an end in a couple of months," said Sullivan. "So, they're happy about that."

However, Sullivan says members are worried about the potential loss of federal support programs once restrictions are lifted.

"They're concerned because that has been some of the support that they've needed while there haven't been enough customers in their restaurants, hotels, or retail shops," he said.

A full list of changes under Phase 1 can be found on the Nova Scotia's provincial website.

Prince Edward Island is also approaching the easement of restrictions on a step-by-step approach.

The province is implementing a three-step plan to loosen COVID-19 restrictions in phases, with hopes to have most restrictions lifted around the beginning of April.

Step 1 is scheduled to take effect on Feb. 17. More restrictions will be further reduced in Step 2, which is scheduled to take effect in mid-March, while Step 3 has a target date to take effect around April 7.

Details of the full three-step plan can be found on the province's website. Top Stories


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