Nova Scotia

Sun, sand, separation: People revel in return to N.S. beaches

After months of stay-at-home orders, Nova Scotians are finally allowed to feel the sand between their toes. The province eased some COVID-19 restrictions Friday, including reopening public beaches.

‘It’s the first time things have felt like everything’s OK,’ says one beach-goer

Public beaches in the province reopened Saturday after being closed under the provincial state of emergency. (Brooklyn Currie/CBC)

After months of following provincial stay-at-home orders, Nova Scotians are finally allowed to feel the sand between their toes.

The province eased some COVID-19 restrictions on Friday. Those included allowing public beaches to reopen.

Shweta Rajput said she was "overwhelmed" when she heard the news.

Rajput moved to Halifax from Montreal in March, just before restrictions were put in place to slow the spread of the virus. Until this weekend, she hadn't had the chance to see any of Nova Scotia's beaches.

Shweta Rajput has been eager to visit Nova Scotia's beaches since she moved to Halifax from Montreal in March. (Brooklyn Currie/CBC)

"To stay at home for two months and then to go outside and enjoy the beautiful atmosphere.… It's amazing," she said.

Rajput and her cousins took a trip to Lawrencetown Beach to explore, have a picnic and take photos.

While some people were having their first foray into the Nova Scotia beach experience, others were returning to a familiar place.

Liam Manderville and his friends went to the beach Saturday night and Sunday morning to surf. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC)

"It's the first time things have felt like everything's OK," said Liam Manderville, an avid surfer.

Even though the conditions were on the rough side, Manderville said it felt good to get back in the water.

"It's a chance to get away from social media and our phones and all that stuff," he said.

Dozens of surfers were out Sunday morning despite choppy conditions. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC)

Manderville and his friends took separate cars to the beach so they could hit the waves while keeping their distance.

One of those friends is Sophie Carter, who drove out with her roommate to get in on the surfing action.

She said it feels "so good" to be able to get in the water again.

Sophie Carter said being able to get outside and see her friends, even from a safe distance, was good for her mental health. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC)

"[It's] very good for my mental health," Carter said. "And good to see my friends again, and interact with people in person, even if it's from six feet apart."