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September 14, 2021
Due to current epidemiology in the province and Atlantic region, Nova Scotia will delay starting Phase 5 of its reopening plan until Oct. 4, when the proof of full vaccination policy begins for certain events and activities.
Phase 5 was expected to start Wednesday, Sept. 15.
“We had hoped to be in a position to start Phase 5 this week, but the epidemiology is changing quickly, and we need to take a cautious approach,” said Premier Tim Houston. “All our current restrictions will remain in place until Oct. 4. By then, we hope to have improved epidemiology of the virus and we will have surpassed our 75 per cent vaccination target. Our proof of full vaccination policy will also be finalized and implemented for activities like going to restaurants, gyms, movies, performances and events. This will allow us to safely lift the gathering limit and other restrictions.”
There are certain events taking place at several large arts and entertainment facilities before Oct. 4 for which tickets have already been sold. These events can proceed without following the gathering limit as long as the facility has a policy requiring spectators to be fully vaccinated and wear masks.
“We understand it’s challenging for everyone, especially businesses, to change their plans when things don’t go as we expect. However, this delay is necessary to protect Nova Scotians,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “In just over two weeks, our proof of full vaccination policy will replace the need for gathering limits through the fall. Anyone who is not yet fully vaccinated should make an appointment as soon as possible. Vaccination is our best defense against COVID-19.”
Starting Oct. 4, people who are 12 and older will need to provide proof of full vaccination to participate in most events and activities that bring groups of people together. While the policy is not yet final, it will apply to:
Proof of vaccination will not be required under the provincewide policy for employees of businesses and organizations that offer these events and activities.
Proof of vaccination will also not be required for most places that don’t facilitate formal gatherings, such as:
Businesses and organizations are encouraged to set their own vaccination policies. Any policies should take legal and ethical implications into consideration. People who are not fully vaccinated need to be able to access essential services.
COVID-19 testing appointments: https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en
Government of Canada: https://canada.ca/coronavirus
Government of Canada information line 1-833-784-4397 (toll-free)
The Mental Health Provincial Crisis Line is available 24/7 to anyone experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis, or someone concerned about them, by calling 1-888-429-8167 (toll-free)
Anyone with a non-crisis mental health or addiction concern can call Community Mental Health and Addictions at 1-855-922-1122 (toll-free) weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Kids Help Phone is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free)
For help or information about domestic violence 24/7, call 1-855-225-0220 (toll-free)
For more information about COVID-19 testing and online booking, visit https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/symptoms-and-testing/