Premier Sets Re-opening Plan with Incentives
Premier Stephen McNeil set June 5th as the date when most Nova Scotia enterprises can get back to business.
In what he called “the next steps toward reopening the province,” the premier says most of the businesses that were required to close under the public health order may reopen.
The premier also announced two financial initiatives to help kick start the economy. A new Small Business Reopening and Support Grant flows from a $25 million fund that will provide grants up to five thousand dollars to businesses open safely. Business continuity vouchers will offer ups to $1,500 for consulting advice and support to become more resilient in the ongoing battle with COVID-19.
The province is fast tracking an infrastructure building program with 230 million dollars over and above the billion dollar capital program introduced in the most recent budget.
The premier says tenders will go out immediately for shovel ready projects in building roads, bridges, school repairs, and museum, courthouse and hospital renovations that will create two thousand jobs.
The projects include new investments that can be started right away along with previously approved projects that will be accelerated or will receive increased funding under the plan.
They include investments in:
- additional paving for 100 series highways and local roads across the province
- expansion of the gravel road program
- replacement of at least six bridges
- renovations and upgrades for the Halifax provincial court
- school repairs, including roofs, windows and mechanical upgrades
- provincial waterfronts
- provincial museum upgrades
- four provincially owned small option homes
- dyke rehabilitation at locations around the province
- campus upgrades to the NSCC campuses
To open on June 5th, businesses must follow protocols in the re-opening plan as tailored to their sector. This includes following public health measures to ensure physical distancing, increased cleaning, and other protective measures for staff and customers.
The following businesses may open on June 5th:
- restaurants for dine-in, takeout, and delivery
- bars, wineries, distilleries and taprooms (lounges excluded)
- personal services, such as hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons, and body art establishments
- fitness facilities, gyms, yoga studios, and climbing facilities
Other health providers can also reopen, provided they follow protocols in their colleges' and associations' plans, as approved by public health. These include:
- dentistry and other self-regulated health professions such as optometry, chiropractic, and physiotherapy
- unregulated health professions such as massage therapy, podiatry and naturopathy
Daycare facilities anticipated reopening on June 8 but that date has been set back to at least June 15.
The province’s chief medical officer says, “I’m impressed by the comprehensive plans I have reviewed so far.” Dr. Robert Strang, added, “They clearly show these sectors are taking the health of their staff and the public very seriously and it gives me confidence they can reopen while mitigating public health risks.”
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