Halifax will be subject to sweeping restrictions that stop just short of a full lockdown for the next two weeks as Nova Scotia, Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, announced new restrictions in Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and across the province on Nov. 24.
Nova Scotians are being asked to avoid non-essential travel in and out of western and central HRM (which is defined as HRM from Hubbards to, and including, Porters Lake and the communities up to Elmsdale and Mount Uniacke in Hants County) and to other Atlantic provinces.
Schools, after-school programs and childcare will remain open while certain personal services businesses such as hairstylists, estheticians and nail salons in western and central HRM can continue except procedures that cannot be done while a patron is masked.
New restrictions will come into force at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 26, and continue for two weeks until midnight Dec. 9, with a possibility of extension.
New COVID-19 restrictions to parts of western and central HRM:
- the gathering limit in public is five (or up to the number of members of an immediate family in a household)
- mandatory masking now applies to common areas of multi-unit residential buildings, such as apartment buildings and condos
- restaurants and licenced establishments are closed for in-person dining but may provide take-out or delivery
- retail stores must restrict shoppers and staff to 25 per cent or less of allowable capacity
- wineries, distilleries and breweries cannot hold tastings or in-person dining and must follow retail rules in their stores (delivery and curbside pickup allowed)
- organized sports, recreational, athletic, arts and cultural activities, faith-based activities are paused
- profit and non-profit fitness and recreational facilities closed
- libraries and museums are closed, including the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
- the casino and First Nations gaming establishments are closed
- stronger enforcement of illegal gatherings, including ticketing of all attendees (total fine of $1,000)
New restrictions across the province:
- to protect our most vulnerable, there will be no visitors except volunteers and designated caregivers to long-term care facilities and Adult Residential Centres and Regional Rehabilitation Centres licensed by the Department of Community Services
- sports teams are restricted to local or regional play only
- no extracurricular activities between schools