The province has announced further easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Nova Scotia.
Beginning Wednesday, malls, retail operations and fitness centres can once again operate at 100 per cent capacity so long as people are social distancing.
And anyone arriving from Newfoundland and Labrador will no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days.
The province will also ease up on restrictions for sports practices, training and games, and arts and culture rehearsals and performances to allow 75 people to participate.
Spectators will continue to be permitted at those activities except at schools.
Restrictions will remain in place for other parts of the service industry.
Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang says after recently extending opening hours to 11:00 p.m. the soonest he will look at easing restrictions for bars and restaurants will be the summer.
Strang says those restrictions can be credited for helping the province avoid the spread of the COVID-19 variants that has plagued other parts of Canada.
“I have to ask myself why. Is it just because we’re lucky? I don’t think so. I think it’s also because we have adhered to, even with very safe epidemiology, we’re still hanging onto these public health protocols, the restrictions, and Nova Scotians are following them,” said Strang.
He says it would be premature to look at relaxing those measures while the COVID-19 variants are all around us.
“I’m very nervous about the next couple of months and we’re not going to relax something beyond where we consider it safe to do that while we are looking at how the variant is playing around in other parts of Canada.”
Strang says Nova Scotians still need to be careful about socializing in groups whether it is in their homes or in public.
The changes are being made as the province announces six new cases of COVID-19.
Premier Iain Rankin says the pace of vaccination in Nova Scotia continues to ramp up as supply increases with almost 10,000 receiving their immunization from Thursday through Monday.
Rankin says this weekend’s vaccination efforts only paused for Easter Sunday and he’s grateful to the workers who are making this possible.
“Thank you to everyone who was working or came out to get vaccinated,” said Rankin. “We are not slowing down. In fact, this week we’ll have 47 pharmacies operating with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and I’m pleased to say, all appointments are booked.”
Rankin says that equates to another 40,000 vaccinations this week.
To date, over 116,000 doses of vaccine have been administered in the province and almost 30,000 Nova Scotians have received their second shot.
Reported by Ed Halverson
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