On Wednesday, May 27 Premier Stephen McNeil announced the re-opening of many sectors that had been closed by the province due to COVID-19.
“We believe we have found a balance between public safety and restarting our economy. We are still moving slowly but this is a good first step,” said McNeil via livestream.
The sectors that can open include:
- restaurants for dine-in, as well as takeout and delivery
- bars, wineries, distilleries and taprooms
- lounges are not permitted to reopen at this time
- personal services, such as hair salons, barbershops, spas, nail salons and body art establishments
- fitness facilities, such as gyms, yoga studios and climbing facilities
Provided they create a safety plan with the province, other industries that can re-open include:
- dentistry and other self-regulated health professions such as optometry, chiropractic and physiotherapy
- unregulated health professions such as massage therapy, podiatry and naturopathy
Not included on this list is child care, which will re-open about a week later.
“We had hoped it would be June 8, but now it is looking more like June 15. Our primary focus will always be on the safety of our children and we are not going to rush it,” McNeil says.
McNeil said the province would closely monitor the re-opening to ensure COVID-19 does not spread.
“We will be monitoring the re-start very closely from a public health point of view,” he said.
Dr. Robert Strang, the Province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, said that all businesses that re-open would need to follow up-to-date public health measures.
“These important rules about numbers and distancing are key to controlling COVID-19 and are here to stay for an extended length of time,” he says. “If a business is too small to ensure 2 metres distance between customers or clients then that gathering limit -- which at this point is five people -- applies.”
Strang said Public Health had met with many of these sectors and the government is continuing to develop re-opening plans with them.
“The sectors that I have met with have all had lots of really good questions and their own operations and we’ve had really good discussions about how they can develop reopening plans that make sense for the service that they provide,” he said Wednesday.
McNeil also announced a new fund for businesses that have to re-open with new, adaptive operations.
“Many of you have to operate under new conditions or even change your business model,” he said.
The Small Business Reopening and Support Grant totals $25 million, with up to $5,000 for each eligible business, non-profit, charity or social enterprise to "help them open safely" and provide "advice and support to become more resilient in the coming months.”
Applications for that program open June 1. For more information visit https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/.