HALIFAX -- Summer day camps across Nova Scotia can reopen, as long as they have a plan in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health released guidelines for summer day camps on Friday.

"Every day camp that wants to reopen must have a plan in place to mitigate risks," said Dr. Robert Strang in a news release. "Our guidelines will help day camp operators develop plans that are tailored to their activities."

The guidelines address preventing the spread of COVID-19, managing outbreaks, the use of personal protective equipment, physical distancing, hygiene and cleaning practices, and outdoor activities.

All day camp operators are required to have an individual plan based on the guidelines in place to support reopening, but plans don’t have to be submitted for approval.

Some of the measures included in the guidelines are:

  • increased cleaning
  • staggered pick-up and drop-off times
  • screening staff and campers
  • limiting group sizes to 10
  • keeping the same groups of children together
  • multiple groups are allowed, but they must be kept separated
  • increased hand-washing
  • minimizing the sharing of equipment

The province says the guidelines are based, in part, on child-care guidelines created with input from infection control experts at the IWK Health Centre, and include feedback from some day camp providers.

"With these guidelines, children will have opportunities to learn, grow, be active, and have fun this summer in an environment that's safe for them, their families and staff," said Premier Stephen McNeil. "This is an important step for Nova Scotia families to have more support and some sense of normalcy this summer."

Day camps will communicate directly with families about their specific reopening plans.