HALIFAX -- Health officials in Nova Scotia say the province will be moving into Phase 2 of its COVID-19 reopening plan on Wednesday, as expected.

"Our vaccination coverage is going up, our cases are coming down and we're ready to take the next step in easing restrictions," said Premier Rankin. "With Phase 2 of our reopening plan, more businesses are able to operate and Nova Scotians have more opportunity to get together socially. We are also able to open our borders to more travelers."

Once in Phase 2, Nova Scotians will be able to partake in more activities with smaller, well-managed groups. Indoor and outdoor activities, along with social gatherings, will also have restrictions eased.

"Nova Scotians have done the hard work and we are making good progress," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health. "COVID isn't gone, but our numbers are staying low, so we're able to take more steps to reopen in Phase 2. A series of small steps throughout our plan will get us to a good place so we can enjoy summer in Nova Scotia."

PHASE 2

Effective 8 a.m. on Wednesday, the following restrictions will be eased provincewide:

BUSINESSES AND SERVICES

  • Personal services businesses (like hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons and body art establishments) can offer all services by appointment (no walk-in service), including services that require a client to remove their mask. They also need to follow their sector-specific plan.

RESTAURANTS, BARS AND CASINOS

  • Casino Nova Scotia (Halifax and Sydney) and video lottery terminals (VLTs) can operate at 50 per cent capacity and need to follow public health measures like social distancing and masks. They can only serve food and alcohol until 11 p.m. and must close by 12 a.m.
  • Liquor licensed (drinking) establishments (like bars, wineries, distillery tasting rooms and craft taprooms) can offer indoor and outdoor dining with a minimum physical distance of two metres (six feet) between tables. There is a maximum of 10 people (close social bubble) per table. Wearing a mask is required (except when you're eating or drinking). Liquor licensed (drinking) establishments can only serve dine-in customers until 11 p.m. and must close by 12 a.m. They can continue to offer take-out, delivery and drive-thru service after 12 a.m.
  • Live music is permitted indoors and outdoors at restaurants and liquor licensed (drinking) establishments (like bars, wineries, distillery tasting rooms and craft taprooms) with one performer following the Guidelines for Musicians (PDF).
  • Restaurants can offer indoor and outdoor dining with a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (six feet) between tables. There is a maximum of 10 people (close social bubble) per table. Wearing a mask is required (except when you're eating or drinking). Restaurants can only serve dine-in customers until 11 p.m. and must close by 12 a.m. They can continue to offer take-out, delivery and drive-thru service after 12 a.m.

RETAIL AND SHOPPING

  • All retail stores can operate at 50 per cent of the store’s capacity (shoppers and staff) and need to follow the Health Protection Act Order, including public health measures like social distancing and masks.
  • Households can have more than one designated shopper.

CONTINUING CARE

ADULT DAY PROGRAMS

  • Community-based adult day programs for seniors and people with disabilities can resume and need to follow public health guidelines for their sector.

LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES

  • Long-term care residents can go for a walk off facility grounds and go through a drive-thru when going for a drive with a designated caregiver. Vaccinated residents can also leave the facility to visit outdoor public places (like parks).
  • Recreational activities and personal services like hairstyling can resume within the facility for long-term care residents who are partially vaccinated or not vaccinated.
  • Long-term care residents don’t need to be in the same groups for dining and group activities.
  • Volunteers can resume their activities at long-term care facilities.

GATHERINGS AND SOCIAL CONTACTS

INDOOR AND OUTDOOR SOCIAL GATHERINGS

  • Informal social gathering limit indoors is up to 10 people (household members and visitors) without social distancing and masks.
  • Informal social gathering limit outdoors is up to 25 people without social distancing.

MEETINGS

  • Meetings and training (indoor and outdoor) - 25 per cent of the venue's capacity up to 50 people indoors and up to 75 people outdoors when meetings and training are hosted by a business or organization, including:
  • provincial and municipal government
  • private businesses and organizations
  • first responder organizations (emergency first responders are exempt from social distancing when necessary)
  • mental health and addictions support groups
  • organized clubs

SPORTS AND PERFORMING ARTS

  • Amateur performing arts rehearsals can have up to 10 people indoors and up to 25 people outdoors without social distancing. Masks are recommended when you can’t maintain a minimum physical distance of two metres (six feet) from others.
  • Professional artists, musicians, dancers and actors can rehearse indoors with up to 15 people and outdoors with up to 25 people without social distancing. Wearing a mask is required indoors when you can’t maintain a minimum physical distance of two metres (six feet) from others (except during activities that are not possible while wearing a mask). Masks are recommended outdoors when you can’t maintain a minimum physical distance of two metres (six feet) from others.
  • Sport games, competitions, tournaments, in-person performances and spectators are not permitted.
  • Sports – Players, participants and officials in organized sports (recreational, amateur and professional) can practice and train with up to 10 people indoors and up to 25 people outdoors without social distancing. Masks are recommended when you can’t maintain a minimum physical distance of two metres (six feet) from others.
  • Virtual events are permitted with a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors and need to follow their COVID-19 Prevention Plan.

WEDDINGS, FUNERALS AND FAITH GATHERINGS

  • Drive-in faith services have no limit on the number of vehicles. You need to follow the informal indoor social gathering limit in your vehicle.
  • Faith gatherings hosted by a business or organization - 25 per cent of the venue’s capacity up to 50 people indoors or 75 people outdoors with social distancing.
  • Informal faith gatherings can have up to 10 people plus the person conducting the ceremony indoors and up to 25 people plus the person conducting the ceremony outdoors without social distancing.
  • Informal wedding ceremonies and funerals (including receptions and visitation) can have up to 10 people plus the person conducting the ceremony indoors and up to 25 people plus the person conducting the ceremony outdoors without social distancing.
  • Wedding ceremonies and funerals (including receptions and visitation) hosted by a business or organization - 25 per cent of the venue’s capacity up to 50 people indoors or 75 people outdoors with social distancing.

 

RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES

  • Businesses and organizations offering a wide variety of indoor recreation and leisure activities (like climbing facilities, dance classes, escape rooms, indoor arcades, indoor play spaces and music lessons) can operate at 25 per cent capacity.
  • Day camps (indoor and outdoor) can operate with up to 15 people (including staff and volunteers) in each individual camp group without social distancing and need to follow COVID-19 Return to Day Camp Guidelines (PDF).
  • Fitness establishments (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.
  • Museums, libraries and Art Gallery Nova Scotia can operate at 25 per cent capacity and need to follow public health measures like social distancing and masks.
  • Drive-in movie theatres can operate with no limit on the number of vehicles. You need to follow the informal indoor social gathering limit in your vehicle.

 

TRAVEL

TRAVEL WITHIN NOVA SCOTIA

  • No restriction on travel within Nova Scotia (you can travel outside your community).

TRAVEL TO NOVA SCOTIA

  • People from outside Nova Scotia can request a compassionate exception to enter Nova Scotia to attend a funeral or service (like a burial or celebration of life) for an immediate family member.
  • Seasonal property owners and people moving to Nova Scotia permanently can apply to travel to Nova Scotia by completing the Safe Check-in Form and must self-isolate for 14 days when they arrive in Nova Scotia.

Each phase of Nova Scotia's reopening plan is based on COVID-19 activity, hospitalizations, vaccination rates and continued testing. Heading into Phase 2, 67 per cent of all Nova Scotians have at least one dose of vaccine, cases are in single digits and hospitalizations are decreasing

Details for all five phases of Nova Scotia's COVID-19 reopening plan can be found on its website.