June 22nd, 2021

Nova Scotia Border Opening to Atlantic Provinces, Followed by Rest of Canada

Nova Scotia’s borders are opening at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, June 23, to residents of the three other Atlantic provinces. The province will open to travellers from outside Atlantic Canada on June 30.

People travelling from Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador can enter Nova Scotia for any reason and will no longer have to self-isolate or complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form. Travellers are encouraged to get vaccinated and have regular COVID-19 tests, but neither is required. People who came from these provinces and are currently isolating in Nova Scotia can stop on June 23.

“We are pleased that case numbers and vaccination coverage are allowing us to return to freer travel within the Atlantic region,” said Premier Iain Rankin. “There will be no requirements for people travelling from Prince Edward Island or from Newfoundland and Labrador. Because of New Brunswick’s approach to visitors from the rest of Canada, we need to maintain some protection when people enter Nova Scotia from that province. The rules we’re putting in place for New Brunswick will extend to travellers from outside Atlantic Canada on June 30.”

People travelling from New Brunswick can enter for any reason and will have isolation requirements based on their vaccination status and testing. That includes Nova Scotians returning from New Brunswick. These travellers will continue to complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form.

Most people coming from New Brunswick will be able to upload their proof of vaccination into their Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form. They will receive automatic approval but must be prepared to show their proof of vaccination to border officials.

Their isolation requirements are:

  • people who have had two doses of vaccine at least 14 days before arriving in Nova Scotia must self-isolate until they receive a negative test result in Nova Scotia
  • people who have had one dose of vaccine at least 14 days before arriving in Nova Scotia must self-isolate for at least seven days and cannot leave isolation until they get two negative tests results while in Nova Scotia; tests should be on day one or two and on day five or six
  • people who have not had any vaccine and those who had a first dose within 14 days of arrival must isolate for 14 days; testing at the beginning and end of their isolation continues to be recommended

The tests must be standard PCR lab tests. They cannot be rapid tests. For people arriving in Halifax by air, they can get their first test at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport. All travellers can book tests online at testing sites around the province.

“Our self-isolation requirement has been instrumental in how we’ve managed the pandemic in Nova Scotia, and it continues to play an important role as we gradually reopen our borders,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “Our testing strategy is among the most robust in the country and will continue to support our border policy while also supporting routine testing for all Nova Scotians.”

People can continue to follow the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick travel protocol for work, school, child care and veterinary services. This includes people who work on rotational schedules. They do not complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in and do not have to self-isolate when they enter or return to Nova Scotia.

People travelling between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for child custody visits will continue to have a modified form of isolation, but the number of days will be based on their vaccination status and testing. The child custody protocol will be updated with more information.

Specialized workers and fish harvesters from New Brunswick have a choice in entering Nova Scotia – they can apply as New Brunswick residents or as specialized workers or fish harvesters.

Read Article: https://bit.ly/3j5L3ww

May 31st, 2021

Nova Scotians can travel outside of their communities as of Tuesday this week

In welcome news to COANS Members, as of Tuesday June 2nd, Nova Scotians will be able to travel outside of their communities for non-essential reasons including overnight camping.

"That does mean you can go see loved ones and friends, but please stay outside for now," said Premier Iain Rankin at a Monday briefing. "It is important that we take this cautious approach and limit socialization as we slowly open up." 

The official direction limiting travel throughout the province expires at 8 a.m. on June 1. As of 8 a.m. on June 2, Phase 1 of the province's reopening plan kicks in and Nova Scotians will be allowed to visit with each other without physical distancing as long as it's outdoors and with a consistent group of up to 10 people.

May 28th, 2021

Nova Scotia Gradually Reopening for Summer

Premier Iain Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, announced today, May 28, that the province will reopen gradually under a five-phase plan.

“Our phased plan will allow us to safely enjoy summer with public health measures in place while we work at getting most of our population fully vaccinated,” said Premier Rankin. “Then we should be able to further ease restrictions in the fall and ease in to a new normal of living with COVID-19.”

Each phase is based on COVID-19 activity, public health and testing capacity, hospitalizations and vaccination rates. Phases are expected to last between two and four weeks as long as certain criteria are met in these areas.

Although travel will no longer be restricted within most of Nova Scotia, people are being asked to avoid non-essential travel into and out of Cape Breton Regional Municipality and into and out of areas of Halifax Regional Municipality, Hubbards, Milford, Lantz, Elmsdale, Enfield, Mount Uniacke, South Uniacke, Ecum Secum and Trafalgar. A final decision will be made about travel for those areas of the province early next week, based on COVID-19 activity.

Starting Wednesday, June 2, key changes in phase one include most businesses opening further, outdoor visits at long-term care facilities, and outdoor gathering limits increasing. In subsequent phases, businesses will gradually increase capacity to the maximum capacity possible with public health measures such as physical distancing, gathering limits will further increase, events and activities will be allowed with increasing numbers of attendees, and border restrictions will start easing.

“Our epidemiology is going in the right direction and we’re at more than 50 per cent of Nova Scotians having one or more doses of vaccine, so we can start to take our first cautious steps toward reopening for the summer,” said Dr. Strang. “In deciding exactly when to move to each new phase, we will consider case numbers, hospitalizations and use of health system resources as well as the percentage of Nova Scotians who’ve been vaccinated. The more people who get vaccinated, the more we can reopen our province.”

Restrictions are easing effective 8 a.m., June 2, as phase one gets fully underway:

  • Nova Scotians can gather outdoors with a consistent social group of up to 10 people without physical distance
  • the limit for indoor gatherings remains the people you live with; two households with one or two people each can still join together but they must be the same two households all the time
  • faith gatherings can be held outdoors with a limit of 10 plus officiants when hosted by a recognized organization; drive-in services are allowed with no limit on numbers
  • wedding and funeral ceremonies remain limited to five plus officiants indoors but can increase to 10 plus officiants outdoors; there can be no receptions or visitations
  • restaurants and licensed establishments can open patios at their maximum capacity with physical distance between tables, a limit of 10 people per table and masks when people are not eating or drinking; they must stop service by 11 p.m. and close by midnight
  • all retail stores can operate at 25 per cent capacity, ensuring physical distance
  • personal services such as hair salons, barber shops and spas can operate by appointment only following their sector plan but cannot offer services that require removing the customer’s mask
  • fitness and recreation facilities can offer outdoor activities with a limit of 10 people with physical distancing, or multiple groups of 10 that are distanced on their own property, as well as one-on-one personal training indoors
  • outdoor pools can open with a limit of 10 people at a time with physical distancing
  • organized sports practices can have 10 people outdoors without physical distancing, or multiple groups of 10 that are distanced
  • professional arts and culture organizations can hold rehearsals with 15 people indoors and amateur rehearsals can have 10 people outdoors without physical distancing
  • drive-in theatres can operate with no limit on numbers
  • campgrounds can offer season and short-term camping following their sector plan with distance between campsites 
  • residents of long-term care facilities can have visitors outdoors; visitors must wear masks but no physical distance is required if the resident is fully vaccinated
  • recreation activities and services such as hairstyling can resume for fully vaccinated residents of long-term care facilities
  • fully vaccinated residents of homes licensed by the Department of Health and Wellness under the Homes for Special Care Act can resume access to their communities for work or school
  • fully vaccinated residents of homes licensed by the Department of Community Service under the Homes for Special Care Act can resume access to their communities for work, therapy, recreation and family visits
  • more people can get exceptions to enter Nova Scotia for end-of-life visits with immediate family members
  • students from within Canada can apply to enter the province for in-person or virtual studies if they are enrolled in the summer semester

People who do not follow the public health measures can be fined. For example, the fine is now $2,000 for each person at an illegal gathering.

A passenger testing program at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport is planned. Other border testing measures are being considered. More details will be released as they are developed.

The reopening plan can be found at: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/docs/reopening-safely-with-COVID-19-plan-overview.pdf

May 28th, 2021
Shaina Luck · CBC News · 

Tourism operators offer province input ahead of reopening strategy release

Tourism operators had a chance to give input Thursday on Nova Scotia's reopening strategy prior to its public release planned for Friday. 

Some told the province they need certainty about reopening targets or dates as soon as possible to ensure a successful 2021 tourism season. 

"Without those targets in place, I fear we're going to miss another year of tourism in Nova Scotia, and that's very concerning," said Dennis Campbell, the CEO of Ambassatours and Murphys on the Water. 

Campbell was one of a group of tourism operators invited to a virtual meeting with provincial officials, including chief medical officer Dr. Robert Strang and Labi Kousoulis, minister of inclusive economic growth and minister responsible for Tourism Nova Scotia. 

"They confirmed that there is still time for them to take the input and adjust accordingly," said Campbell of the reopening strategy. 

Campbell's top priorities included a framework for reopening borders. 

"We hope for, at a very minimum, the Atlantic bubble. But as we look at the various other provinces, [they're] starting to look at opening up to the rest of Canada," he said. 

He also wants the province to start making plans to open to visitors who are fully vaccinated. 

"The epidemiology suggests that if you're fully vaccinated, you're safe," he said.  

Short window for seasonal business

The association that represents private campground owners was also invited to the meeting.

Last week, the province said private campgrounds can only open for seasonal campers, and short-term camping is not permitted.

Shane Devenish, the executive director of the Campground Owners Association of Nova Scotia, said the announcement came just a few days before the Victoria Day weekend, which in normal years would be an important date for campers. 

"Last week caught everybody off guard, by surprise," he said.

"It caused a tremendous negative impact to the private campgrounds' business because they had taken all these reservations, pretty much for the first part of the year for that weekend. And then they had to go ahead and cancel everything." 

Devenish said the meeting went well and he felt the province was receptive to their point that seasonal businesses have a short window of summer to make money. 

"Every day that we're forced to close is days that we'll never get back, so we stressed that point," he said. 

Strang and Premier Iain Rankin are expected to announce details of the province's reopening plan during Friday's COVID-19 briefing. 

Read Story: Here

May 25th, 2021

Campground Owners Association of Nova Scotia sends letter to Premier to open overnight camping in the Province.

In his news conference earlier today,  Premier Iain Rankin said that he plans to unveil a high level, detailed reopening of Nova Scotia on Friday. "Right now we do see some optimistic signs," says Rankin. "Nova Scotia is coming off the third wave faster than any other province. That's showing some hope and we continue to look at the evidence when we make those decisions."

After today's Press Conference, COANS  forwarded a letter to the Premier advocating to include a more expanded Private Campground opening when the Province makes their announcement on Friday. We all feel the same, that if we all follow the guidelines, Campgrounds can operate in a manner that ensures that the health and safety can be maintained for our employees and our campers. 

We encourage you to forward a copy of this letter by email to your MLA and to ask for their support with the Premier.

See Letter

May 19th, 2021

The Campground Owners Association of Nova Scotia was disappointed in the Province’s announcement  to limit Camping in the Province.

Premier Iain Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, announced today, May 19, that current public health restrictions will remain in place across Nova Scotia until at least the second week of June. Provincial park campgrounds are currently closed. Private campgrounds can only be open for seasonal campers. No short-term camping is allowed at this time.

People can go to their cottage or seasonal campsite outside their community only if they intend to stay at their Seasonal Site while the Emergency Health Order is in effect. Campers cannot go back and forth between their Campground and Home and must chose one as their Primary Residence. Campers may travel to work and back to their Campground as necessary if they choose that their RV is their primary residence.

Read More: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20210519004

© 2021 COANS  |  Nova Scotia Campgrounds and RV Parks  |  Related Links