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Phase 4 Of Reopening Will Begin As Early As Next Week – Here’s What To Expect

Dr. Robert Strang, Chief Medical Officer of Health (Communications Nova Scotia)

Phase 4 of Nova Scotia’s reopening plan is set to begin as early as Wednesday, July 14.

According to the government, when the phase change takes place, Nova Scotian can expect to have more social connections and access to expanded services, activities and events.

The phase will allow for more travel into the province with less restrictions and increased visitation with long-term care residents.

According to the provincial government, this is what we can expect in Phase 4:

Festivals, special events and arts and culture events

Festivals, special events and arts and culture events (like performances) – 50% of the venue’s capacity up to 150 people indoors and up to 250 people outdoors with social distancing and mask requirements when hosted by a business or organization. Organizers must have a COVID-19 Prevention Plan (plans will be reviewed by Government of Nova Scotia for large venues).

Restaurants, bars and casinos

  • Casino Nova Scotia (Halifax and Sydney) can operate at maximum capacity possible with public health measures like social distancing and masks. They can return to regular hours of operation (indoor and outdoor) as per their licensing.
  • Liquor licensed (drinking) establishments (like bars, wineries, distillery tasting rooms, craft taprooms and liquor manufacturers) can return to regular hours of operation (indoor and outdoor) as per their licensing with a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between people at different tables.
  • Restaurants can return to regular hours of operation (indoor and outdoor) as per their licensing with a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between people at different tables.
  • Video lottery terminals (VLTs) can operate at maximum capacity possible with public health measures (like social distancing and masks) and need to follow their sector-specific plan. Establishments that hold a liquor licence can return to regular hours of operation (indoor and outdoor) as per their licensing.

Weddings, funerals and faith gatherings

  • Faith gatherings that are run by a business or organization – 50% of the venue’s capacity up to 150 people indoors and up to 250 people outdoors with social distancing and masks.
  • Informal wedding ceremonies and funerals (including receptions and visitation) can have up to 25 people plus the person conducting the ceremony indoors and up to 50 people plus the person conducting the ceremony outdoors without social distancing.
  • Wedding ceremonies and funerals (including receptions and visitation) – 50% of the venue’s capacity up to 150 people indoors and up to 250 people outdoors with social distancing when hosted by a business or organization.

Fitness and recreation

  • Businesses and organizations offering a wide variety of indoor recreation and leisure activities (like climbing facilities, dance classes, escape rooms, indoor arcades, indoor play spaces and music lessons) can operate at maximum capacity possible with public health measures like social distancing. Wearing a mask is required (except during an activity that makes it difficult to wear a mask).
  • Day camps (indoor and outdoor) can operate with up to 30 people (excluding staff and volunteers) in each individual camp group without social distancing or multiple groups of 30 people each with social distancing between groups and need to follow COVID-19 Return to Day Camp Guidelines (PDF).
  • Fitness establishments (like gyms and yoga studios) and sport and recreation facilities (like pools, arenas, tennis courts and large multipurpose recreation facilities) can operate at maximum capacity possible with public health measures like social distancing and masks.

Long-term care facilities

  • Indoor visits can resume in a resident’s room at long-term care facilities for fully vaccinated residents. If residents are partially vaccinated or not vaccinated, indoor visits can resume in designated visitation areas.
  • Fully vaccinated residents at long-term care facilities can leave the facility to visit with family in their homes (including overnight stays). All residents can leave the facility to visit public places (like parks, stores and restaurants).

Festivals, special events and arts and culture events

Festivals, special events and arts and culture events (like performances) – 50% of the venue’s capacity up to 150 people indoors and up to 250 people outdoors with social distancing and mask requirements when hosted by a business or organization. Organizers must have a COVID-19 Prevention Plan (plans will be reviewed by Government of Nova Scotia for large venues).

Indoor and outdoor social gatherings

  • Informal social gathering limit indoors is up to 25 people without social distancing and masks.
  • Informal social gathering limit outdoors is up to 50 people without social distancing and masks.

Sports and performing arts

  • Informal competition (like friends organizing a ball game) needs to follow gathering limits for sports. Spectators are included in event gathering limits and need to follow social distancing guidelines. Tournaments are not permitted.
  • Participants and officials in organized performing arts and sports (recreational, amateur and professional) can gather with up to 25 people indoors and up to 50 people outdoors without social distancing for rehearsals, performances, practices, games and league play. Masks are recommended when you can’t maintain a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others. Tournaments are permitted if they’re run or affiliated with a provincial sport organization and follow a Return to Play plan.
  • Spectators are permitted (indoor and outdoor) for sports and performing arts hosted by a business or organization that have an Event Plan. Spectators are included in event gathering limits and need to follow social distancing guidelines.

Meetings and training

  • Meetings and training (indoor and outdoor) – 50% of the venue’s capacity up to 150 people indoors and up to 250 people outdoors with social distancing and mask requirements when meetings and training are hosted by a business or organization, including:
    • provincial and municipal governments
    • private businesses and organizations
    • first responder organizations (emergency first responders are exempt from social distancing when necessary)
    • mental health and addictions support groups
    • organized clubs

Museums and libraries

Museums, libraries and Art Gallery of Nova Scotia can operate at maximum capacity possible with public health measures like social distancing and masks.

Indoor workplaces

Workplaces (like offices) continue to follow a phased approach to have employees return to the workplace and need to follow OHS Hazard Management.

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