HALIFAX: As the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to decrease, the provincial government has opened some recreation facilities and opportunities.
On May 1, Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, announced the easing of some measures.
The premier called it a “slow and steady” opening of Nova Scotia to gradually get back to some normalcy.
Because Nova Scotia is still under a state of emergency, public health directives established in March around social distancing and social gatherings remain in place. People must keep two metres apart and not gather in groups of more than five.
Provincial and municipal parks were re-opened, including school grounds and sports fields, and trails were allowed to open.
Sport fishing is permitted from shore or boat, but fishing derbies or festivals are not allowed. And people from outside the province towing boats for sport fishing will not be allowed into Nova Scotia.
People can attend boating, yacht or sailing clubs for the purpose of preparing boats for use.
Golf driving ranges can open, including those at golf clubs, and golf clubs were allowed to perform necessary maintenance and preparations for opening.
Then on May 15, McNeil and Dr. Strang announced the easing of more public health restrictions.
As of May 16, archery, equestrianism, golf, paddling, sailing/boating, and tennis resumed at outdoor facilities provided social distancing, environmental cleaning and participant hygiene can be maintained.
However, organized coaching or training, competitions, tournaments, regattas or similar events are not permitted.
Public beaches also reopened as of May 16 at 8 a.m. but people must stay two metres apart and not gather in groups of more than five.
“Paddling, surfing and other activities can resume,” Dr. Strang added.
Provincial officials added that they are continuing to consult stakeholders to ease more public health restrictions in the coming weeks, provided the number of new cases continues to stay low.