Some Maritime businesses are choosing to remain closed during COVID-19 pandemic
HALIFAX -- By now, most Maritime businesses that were forced to closed due to COVID-19 have been permitted to reopen.
However, not all businesses have returned to full operations, as some keep their own closures and restrictions in place.
While some are concerned about safety, others are looking at their bottom lines.
Halifax’s Centennial pool has been shut down since March, when COVID-19 first reached the area.
Pools in Nova Scotia were given the green light to reopen in early July, but Centennial has remained closed.
Pool officials say they’re taking their time now to upgrade the pool’s filtration system while working out new safety protocols in the building.
The plan is for the pool to reopen in early October.
Lisa Risley has just reopened her plaid shop at a new location in Dartmouth, N.S., after staying closed for COVID-19.
But she’s already getting ready to shut her doors again, after making a tough decision.
“It was probably time to do what I’ve been thinking about for a couple years, and I’m going to take the entire business online, so the retail store will cease to exist,” explains Risley.
She says the pandemic was the final straw for her store.
“Recently, probably in the last five years with changes in tourist traffic, in online shopping, business did start to decline.”
The Pleasant St. Diner in Dartmouth could reopen today, but are postponing their reopening as they put all their attention on their new takeout window.
“If I wanted to turn the keys open again, I’m good to go, I have partitions over everything, the booths,” explains owner Tommy Fatourous.
Fatourous says he doesn’t know when he’ll reopen and is taking the decision week-by-week.
“I’m looking at what the doctors are saying obviously, what the staff are saying, taking everything into consideration,” says Fatourous. “It’s about our comfort level right now.”
While other restaurants have reopened, they must abide by strict guidelines, which is affecting other businesses that rely on crowds of people.
Casinos in Halifax, Sydney and Moncton have yet to reopen as well, even though they have the go-ahead from provincial governments.
The British Columbia-based ‘Great Canadian Gaming Corp.’ operates all three casinos, and said their operating procedure will be significantly different when they do reopen, adding that there is no confirmed date on when that will happen.
Cineplex began reopening movie theatres around the Maritimes in July, but not all of them, particularly in smaller communities.
Initially the theatre chain said every Maritime location would be open by the end of July, but as of Tuesday, Cineplex said it had no update to offer at this time.
Many Maritime travel agencies have transitioned to taking reservations online or by phone, but their storefronts remain closed, and they may stay that way until the demand for travel is restored.