Given low COVID-19 cases, the province is lifting or altering restrictions currently in place for Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and its neighbouring communities.
Many restrictions that came into effect on Feb. 27, such as restaurant hours, sport competitions, culture performances and non-essential travel, will end Friday, March 5 at 8 a.m.
“Last week we were worried about increased case numbers in Halifax but what we are seeing this week warrants lifting some restrictions early,” said Premier Iain Rankin. “I know that restrictions can have a significant impact on businesses but safety is always the first priority, and I want to thank Nova Scotians for following public health advice as that has allowed us to ease them earlier. Thank you for doing your part to keep yourself, your family and your communities safe.”
The following activities will be allowed:
— travel in and out of HRM and surrounding municipalities
— participants and officials in performing arts and sports (recreational, amateur and professional) can gather in groups of up to 60 people without social distancing for rehearsals, performances, practices and regular competitive schedule
— spectators at performing arts and sports will be allowed as long as the host facilities have a gathering plan
— the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will reopen public school gyms for after-school use on March 6
— restaurants and bars will return to previous dine-in service requirements, with service stopped by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m.
— weddings and funeral in a faith facility or funeral homes can have 150 people outdoors or 50 per cent of capacity to a maximum of 100 indoors. Receptions and visitations continue to be not permitted in HRM and surrounding municipalities
Unchanged is the requirement for residents of long-term care facilities to only have visits from their two designated caregivers and can only leave the facility for medical appointments or for a drive with a designated caregiver. This restriction remains in effect until March 27 in HRM and surrounding municipalities.
“Thank you to all the Nova Scotians who turned out for testing over the past week,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “These record numbers helped give us a bigger picture of the virus in HRM and elsewhere in the province. It was critical to this decision.”
Premier Rankin and Dr. Strang will address the easing of restrictions in more detail at Friday’s COVID-19 briefing.
Affected by the restrictions were the suburban and urban areas of Halifax, including Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford, Sackville, Cole Harbour, Eastern Passage, Middle Porters Lake, Fall River, Enfield, Lantz, Hammonds Plains, Herring Cove, the Prestons, Lake Echo, Timberlea, Tantallon, Mount Uniacke and St. Margarets Bay.
Source: Release #notw