COVID-19 Developments and Legal Updates
Nova Scotia announces plan to re-open economy, new funding
Mark Tector and Katharine Mack
The province of Nova Scotia announced today that most sectors of the economy may begin to reopen. Provincial grant funding was also announced to help businesses open safely, as well as new infrastructure spending.
Effective June 5, most businesses that were required to close under the Public Health Order will be permitted to reopen, including:
- Restaurants, for both dine in and take out;
- Bars, wineries distilleries and craft beer taprooms (lounges are not permitted to reopen yet);
- Personal services, including hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, tattoo parlours;
- Fitness facilities, including gyms, yoga studios;
- Dentistry and other self-regulated health professions such as optometry, chiropractic and physiotherapy;
- Unregulated health professions such as massage therapy, podiatry and naturopathy; and
The province is working on a plan to re-open childcare centres by June 15.
To reopen, industry associations representing businesses and organizations that were required to close under the Health Protection Act Order must develop a plan for their sector. Public Health is meeting with industry associations to share public health principles and provide information to help them develop their plans.
Industry associations need to share their plans with the businesses and organizations in their sector. Businesses and organizations should contact their association to learn what they need to do to reopen safely.
Every business now permitted to re-open must follow protocols in the industry plan that is tailored to their sector. Businesses and organizations that were not required to close under the Health Protection Act Order should develop a plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and must adhere to public health protocol.
All businesses must continue to follow public health protocol, namely:
- Adhering to the “2m/6ft rule” wherever possible;
- Abide by applicable limits on gathering sizes;
- Increase cleaning, especially high-touch surfaces and washrooms;
- Encourage increased handwashing and wearing face masks where it is difficult to maintain a 2m distance.
Businesses and other organizations can find information to help them safely reopen at https://novascotia.ca/reopening-nova-scotia
Small business reopening and support grant
The province also announced that eligible businesses, non-profits, charities and social enterprises will be able to access the new Small Business Reopening and Support Grant, a $25 million fund that will provide grants of up to $5,000 to help them open safely and business continuity vouchers for advice and support to become more resilient in the coming months.
In addition to the grant, Premier McNeil said that the province is offering a voucher worth $1,500 to access consulting services to offer advice.
More information will be available online at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus and applications will begin June 1. If you received the Small Business Impact Grant, you do not need to apply and will be contacted by the province directly.
New infrastructure funding
The province also announced a $230 million infrastructure investment, for projects such as road paving, bridge replacement, school repairs and museum upgrades. The investment is estimated to create approximately 2,000 jobs this fiscal year.
Planning to reopen
We continue to assist many businesses as they deal with the various legal issues associated with COVID-19, including recalling staff and reopening.
This article is provided for general information only. If you have any questions about the above, please contact a member of our Labour and Employment group.
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