Nova Scotia Allows Gatherings up to 250 People
Despite seventeen days in a row without a new case of the coronavirus, government is renewing the state of emergency to extend the authority to impose public health measures. The order moves the needle from noon Sunday to noon Sunday, July 12.
And despite warnings from the chief medical health officer that COVID cases are likely to arise, government is boosting public gatherings throughout the province.
Effective next Friday, gathering limits will increase to 250 people for certain outdoor events and up to 200 for indoor gatherings.
The higher number applies to outdoor venues when an event is organized by a business or recognized organizatio. Events run by individuals or families are still held to fifty people with social distancing rules being respected.
The indoor rule allows for fifty percent of the venues capacity, up to 200 people.If a recognized business or organization is planning an event outdoors, 250 people can attend with physical distancing rules in place. For an indoor event, the limit is 50 per cent capacity to a maximum of 200, again with physical distancing.
The expanded gathering limits apply to social events, faith gatherings, weddings, funerals, other cultural events, arts and culture events like theatre performances, dance recitals, festivals and concerts. Guidelines for these types of events are available at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/docs/Events-theatres-and-venues-COVID-19-prevention-guidelines.pdf.
Meanwhile restaurants and bars are now open to maximum capacity provided social distancing measures can be maintained
Dr. Robert Strang suggested this is a calculated risk. He says, “As we open up our society and economy, we run the risk of allowing a resurgence of COVID.” Then he added, “The tools we used to flatten the curve are the tools we must use to prevent its return,” namely social distancing, frequent hand washing, etc. But, Strang now says Nova Scotians should wear a non-medical mask whenever in public. He stopped short of making it mandatory because enforcement would be difficult if not impossible and there would be issues of supply.
Premier Stephen McNeil. "Continuing the core measures of physical distancing and hand hygiene is how we will keep our case numbers low, especially as we increase gathering limits and welcome Atlantic Canadian visitors to Nova Scotia."
The following restrictions are being eased immediately:
- restaurants and licensed liquor establishments can operate at 100 per cent capacity and serve patrons until midnight with appropriate distancing between tables. Patrons must leave by 1 am
- private campgrounds can operate at 100 per cent capacity and must follow their sector plan
- public pools can reopen with physical distancing for lane swimming and aquafit classes, and one or more groups of 10 for other activities based on pool size. They must follow the Nova Scotia Lifesaving Society plan for change rooms and washrooms.
- people living in homes funded by disability support programs can resume going out into their communities
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