Nfld. & Labrador

What's open and closed, after new COVID-19 restrictions announced amid jump in COVID-19 cases

The temporary closure of some businesses and suspension of activities comes after Newfoundland and Labrador recorded its second-highest daily tally of COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

St. John's, Mount Pearl and Paradise have shut down their rec facilities

The Loop will remain open, as some recreation programs are suspended. (Heather Gillis/CBC)

Gyms, bars and performance centres have to close for two weeks, the province's chief medical officer of health announced Tuesday afternoon. 

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald also included cinemas, bingo halls, and yoga studios among the temporary closures. 

The special measures order will be reassessed in two weeks, Fitzgerald said Tuesday.

There were 30 new cases announced Tuesday, with Fitzgerald implementing a two-week "circuit breaker," effective at midnight, outlining new restrictions in the metro region.

What's staying open

Shopping malls can remain open, while restaurants will be able to remain open, but at half capacity. Buffets are not allowed. 

Personal service businesses — including spas, esthetic services, hair salons, body piercing, tattooing and tanning salons — can remain open, as long as existing regulations, like physical distancing and mask-wearing, are maintained. 

Animal grooming facilities can also stay open.

Limits for funerals, weddings and other events

Gatherings run by a business or organization, for example, a funeral, burial or wedding, can have 20 people in attendance — but only if physical distancing can be maintained. Wakes are prohibited. 

Family event gatherings must be limited to your household bubble. If you are a one-person household you may join another household bubble.

Many municipal programs and services suspended

The closures for certain businesses in the St. John's metro region came hours after a barrage of suspended events and activities announced by municipalities and groups.

The City of St. John's announced on Tuesday that cancelled programs include:

  • All programs for children, youth, and families.
  • All adult and seniors programs.
  • All water and dryland fitness programs.
  • Group swimming lessons and public swims.
  • All aquatics leadership courses.
  • All sport group gymnasium rentals.
  • Racquet court rentals.

Other municipal programs and activities are continuing as normal, including private swimming lessons and lane swims, indoor walking programs, and after-school and pre-school programs. 

The Loop  — the outdoor skating surface at Bannerman Park —is also staying open. City hall will remain open, but council will meet virtually for the next two weeks. A full list can be found here.

As of Tuesday morning, 15 schools were closed, and public health was conducting contact tracing to find the sources of the virus and to identify people who should self-isolate.

it was on Monday that Fitzgerald initially ordered the suspension of all group recreational and arts activities in the St. John's metro area.

That includes sports, but also arts and culture events, too, like dance classes, for example. 

Mount Pearl and Paradise shutter buildings, too

Mount Pearl shut its recreation facilities for the rest of the week, with an update to come on Feb. 12.

That means all indoor and outdoor rec program and rentals are suspended. 

(CBC)

It's also closing Mount Pearl city hall Wednesday for cleaning after an employee tested positive for the virus.

The Town of Paradise followed suit, and closed its Double Ice Complex and fitness centre. As of Tuesday, the Paradise Town Hall will open by appointment only. 

Hockey NL suspends play, practice

All sanctioned hockey in the Eastern Health Authority Region is suspended until further notice. 

Craig Tulk, executive director of Hockey NL, made the announcement via an emailed statement Tuesday morning. 

The suspension affects the Tri Pen Region, which would cover all programming east of Clarenville.

Hockey NL executive director Craig Tulk, seen here in a file photo, announced the suspension Tuesday morning. (CBC via Skype)

Games, practices and any other member-sanctioned off-ice events are halted. 

"Sanctioned on-ice activities in all other areas of Newfoundland and Labrador are permitted to continue as scheduled," reads the statement. 

The move comes on the heels of the Mount Pearl Blades halting all of its programs until at least Feb. 15. 

All Paradise minor hockey games and practices and events are also suspended. 

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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