HALIFAX — Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil announced Wednesday that most businesses that were required to close under a public-health order in late March will be allowed to open beginning June 5, provided they submit a plan that follows public-health protocols for physical distancing.
That includes restaurant dining-rooms, along with bars, wineries, distilleries and taprooms. Personal-services businesses will also open, including hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons and tattoo establishments. Fitness facilities, such as gyms, yoga studios and climbing centres, will also be allowed to operate.
“We believe we’ve found a balance between public safety and restarting our economy,” says McNeil. “We’re still moving slowly, but this is a good first step. We’ve considered feedback gathered through consultation with businesses and associations. Every business that is about to reopen must follow public-health protocols.”
Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s chief medical officer of health, says maintaining the two-metre physical-distancing rule and adhering to capacity limits will be key, especially for restaurants.
“If a business is too small to ensure the two metres’ distance between customers and clients, then the gathering limit, which is now five, applies,” he says, adding restaurants would open to a maximum of 50-per-cent capacity during the initial phase, while only allowing up to five people at a table provided that’s possible.