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Nova Scotians head to patios, line up for haircuts as lockdown eases

Wednesday, June 2nd 2021, 1:43 pm - Premier Iain Rankin, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang set to hold briefing

People headed to sun-soaked patios and lined up for haircuts in Halifax on Wednesday on the first day following Nova Scotia's month-long lockdown.

Phase 1 of Nova Scotia's reopening plan started Wednesday morning and is expected to last between two and four weeks.

People were lined up outside of First Choice Haircutters on Mumford Road in Halifax before the business opened on Wednesday morning.

Later in the afternoon, people donned shorts under sunny skies as they stood outside a bar on Argyle Street, waiting for a spot on a patio.

CBC: People lined up outside of bars on Arygle Street in Halifax to enjoy patios on the first day of Phase 1 of the province's reopening plan. (Pat Callaghan/CBC) People lined up outside of bars on Arygle Street in Halifax to enjoy patios on the first day of Phase 1 of the province's reopening plan. (Pat Callaghan/CBC)

Nearby, Premier Iain Rankin enjoyed a patio lunch with his wife, Mary Chisholm, at Durty Nelly's Irish Pub.

Lara Cusson, owner of Cafe Lara on Agricola Street in Halifax, said people came out in "droves" on Wednesday.

"People were feeling safe and confident to spend time on a patio," said Cusson. "All the small businesses are making an effort to keep their businesses safer beyond what's required. I think the public are really appreciating that."

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Greg Bishop was looking for a place to eat Wednesday afternoon on Argyle Street. He said he tried to get outside most days of the lockdown, but it was "nice to have choices of places to eat again."

Jess Noonan said she felt safe on Halifax patios.

"I'm half vaccinated and most people are [half vaccinated] now around the drinking age," she said. "I think it's a nice way to start the summer. I'm really excited about it."

Halifax Mayor Mike Savage was also spotted at a beer garden on the waterfront.

Rankin and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang will hold a COVID-19 briefing at 3 p.m. A live stream will be available in this story.

Strang said earlier this week he expects the first phase to last closer to two weeks, thanks to rapid improvement of the third-wave outbreak that began at the end of April.

Unlike some other provinces, Nova Scotia's reopening plan does not have target dates for advancing between stages. Rather, it is dependent on virus epidemiology, vaccination rates, and health-care capacity.

As of Tuesday, Nova Scotia had 369 active cases of COVID-19. Most of the 12 new cases reported Tuesday were close contacts of previously reported cases, although public health said there is still community spread in the central zone.

The number of people in hospital has been dropping steadily for more than a week. On Tuesday, there were 23 people in hospital, including 15 in intensive care.

More than 55 per cent of the population has now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. One of the criteria for moving to Phase 2 of the reopening plan is to have 60 per cent of the population with at least one vaccine dose.


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Wednesday also marks the first day back in classrooms for many students and teachers after more than a month of virtual learning. By Thursday, all schools are slated to reopen.

Phase 1 of the reopening plan allows restaurant patios to reopen, consistent groups of 10 to gather outside and retailers to reopen at reduced capacity, among other changes.

Atlantic Canada case numbers

  • New Brunswick reported five new cases on Tuesday. The province has 142 active cases.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador reported 17 new cases on Wednesday for 90 active cases. There is one person in hospital with COVID-19.
  • P.E.I. reported zero new cases on Tuesday. There are four active cases.

This article was originally published for CBC News.

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