Nova Scotia

Halifax restaurants, bars to reopen for in-person dining starting Monday

Restaurants and licensed establishments in the Halifax Regional Municipality and Hants County will be allowed to reopen for dine-in service starting on Monday.

Three new cases were announced on Thursday

Bars and restaurants in the Halifax and Hants County areas can now reopen for dine-in service starting on Monday. (Vernon Ramesar/CBC)

Restaurants and bars in the Halifax Regional Municipality and Hants County will be allowed to reopen for dine-in service starting on Monday Jan. 4.

But they must end service by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m., in line with current restrictions for restaurants and bars in the rest of the province. 

Takeout and delivery service may continue with no restrictions, the province said in a press release Thursday.

The Halifax Casino and VLTs will not reopen and will remain closed until at least Jan. 10.

On Nov. 26, all restaurants and bars in the Halifax region were ordered to stop in-person dining, as the number of COVID-19 cases surged.

Restaurants and bars across Nova Scotia must end service by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m (Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters)

Several bars and restaurants were the sites of exposure notices, prompting the province to ask staff at all late-night establishments to get tested.

"It's good that our case numbers continue to be relatively low but we can't let down our guard, especially tonight when many people would normally have a party," said Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, in the release.

"Let's keep our gatherings small or virtual as we celebrate all we've accomplished together in 2020. I wish all Nova Scotians a happy new year and ask for your continued help to accomplish even more in 2021."

3 new cases Thursday

Three new cases of COVID-19 are being reported in Nova Scotia on Thursday. There are now 22 active cases.

All three cases are in the Central Zone, according to a news release from the province. One is a close contact of a previous case and two are related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada.

One person is currently in hospital.

"Tonight would normally be a time to get together in large groups for a countdown and celebration. We cannot do that this year because we know how important it is to keep our gatherings small and follow all the other public health protocols," said Premier Stephen McNeil in the news release.

"As you look forward to 2021, remember the strength, kindness and love that got you through this difficult year and carry it over into the new year. We can all have a sense of hope with the COVID-19 vaccines coming online. I wish all Nova Scotians a safe, healthy and happy new year."

Nova Scotia labs completed 2,203 tests on Wednesday. There were 736 tests administered between Tuesday and Wednesday at the rapid-testing pop-up sites in Halifax.

New potential exposures

Nova Scotia Health is warning of potential exposures to COVID-19 on four flights and at the Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth.

Anyone who was on the following flights in the specified row and seats is asked to continue to self-isolate and immediately visit the online self-assessment tool or call 811 to book a COVID-19 test, regardless of whether they have symptoms:

  • WestJet flight 248 travelling on Dec. 23 from Toronto (9:00 a.m.) to Halifax (12:00 p.m.), passengers in rows 8-14 in seats A, B, C and D. Symptoms may develop up to, and including, Jan. 6, 2021.
  • WestJet flight 248 travelling on Dec. 27 from Toronto (10:00 a.m.) to Halifax (12:30 p.m.), passengers in rows 1-4 in seats A, C and D. Symptoms may develop up to, and including, Jan. 10, 2021.
  • Air Canada flight 624 travelling on Dec. 27 from Toronto (9:00 p.m.) to Halifax on Dec. 28 (2:00 a.m.), passengers in rows 15-21 in seats C, D, E and F and rows 1-4 in seats A, C, and D. Symptoms may develop up to, and including, Jan. 11, 2021.
  • Air Canada flight 604 travelling on Dec. 29 from Toronto (8:00 a.m.) to Halifax (11:30 a.m.), passengers in rows 16-22 in seats A, B, C and D. Symptoms may develop up to, and including, Jan. 12, 2021.

All other passengers on these flights should continue to self-isolate as required and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.

Nova Scotia Health said out of an abundance of caution, anyone who worked at or visited the Mic Mac Mall (21 Mic Mac Blvd., Dartmouth) on Dec. 19 between 12:30 and 3:40 p.m. should immediately visit the online self-assessment tool or call 811 to book a COVID-19 test, regardless of whether they have symptoms.

Anyone exposed to the coronavirus at this location may develop symptoms up to, and including, Jan. 2, 2021.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you are required to self-isolate while waiting for test results. If no symptoms are present, isolation is not required.

A list of active potential COVID-19 exposure sites can be found here.

Atlantic Canada case numbers

The latest COVID-19 numbers from the Atlantic provinces are:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases of COVID-19, for the second day straight, to mark the end of 2020. There are 17 active cases and one person is in hospital.
  • New Brunswick reported three new cases on Thursday and has 28 active cases. A patient in the Moncton region died of COVID-19, the ninth person in New Brunswick to succumb to the disease. One person is hospitalized and in an intensive care unit.
  • P.E.I. reported two new cases on Tuesday. The province has six active cases.

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