Nova Scotia's borders close to non-essential travel due to surge of COVID-19 cases
Published Monday, May 10, 2021 6:00AM ADT Last Updated Monday, May 10, 2021 8:29PM ADT
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia's provincial boundaries were closed to non-essential travel on Monday, as the province tries to control a COVID-19 outbreak.
The new health order, which closes boundaries to previously exempted Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, also applies to anyone moving to the province. Nova Scotia had prohibited non-essential travel to most of the country since April.
The new restrictions also apply to parents from out-of-province who were hoping to pick up or drop off students. Under the new rules, rotational workers returning home from so-called outbreak zones such as the oilsands hub of Fort McMurray, Alta., must self-isolate for 14 days.
Nova Scotia's travel rules are in force until at least the end of the month and an application process for most travellers will be introduced by May 14.
Premier Iain Rankin announced the new restrictions on Friday as part of measures aimed at reining in the worst COVID-19 outbreak in Atlantic Canada since the pandemic began.
Rankin also extended school closures to the end of May and introduced rules that took effect Saturday requiring all retail stores offering in-person shopping to impose a limit of one shopper per household. As well, retail stores that sell essential products have to limit in-person service to a maximum of 25 per cent of store capacity.
Nova Scotia instituted a provincewide lockdown on April 28 when it became clear the virus was spreading at a rapid rate. The majority of the cases have been identified in the Halifax area.
The province reported 328 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend and had 1,626 known active cases as of Sunday with 50 people in hospital, including seven in intensive care.
Rankin and chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang are expected to hold a COVID-19 briefing later on Monday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 10, 2021.