HALIFAX -- It was a new day for some businesses in Nova Scotia.

Retail facilities and fitness centres can now operate at 100 per cent capacity.

Even though it is allowed to have a full house, there was lots of room to work out at a gym in Dartmouth.

"You say we can operate at 100 per cent, but we still have to maintain our social distancing, so if every other machine is off-limits we could still only increase it very minimally," said gym manager Brian Wilkie.

Wilkie says with the extra cleaning measures they have taken on, he feels they could safely operate at true 100 per cent capacity.

"Based on the measures that we have put in place, the bottles and towels that we give to members and the cleaning before and after you work out, I think we definitely can operate at that level safely to make sure we're protecting both the members and the community," he said.

Not included in Tuesday's announcement are bars and restaurants. Cafe owner Danny Martin says the province has made all the right moves so far and he's not going question their decisions.

"They've been doing a great job up to now, so if they feel that's what has to be done, I'm fine with that," Martin said.

Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, explained his reasoning on Tuesday.

"We still have to be a very cautious when it comes to the number of people that can get together in groups," Strang said.

Some good news for restaurant and bar owners did come out of Halifax City Hall on Wednesday. Patio fees are being waived for a second straight summer.

"It shows that they care for us and they know that we need to stay in business and we are a big part of the economy of downtown Halifax and Dartmouth," restaurant owner Lil MacPherson said. "Everything helps."

It's a small step forward for an industry still facing many public health restrictions because of the pandemic.