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Today, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil and the Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s chief medical officer of health, issued an order that effective July 31, masks will be mandatory in most public indoor spaces.
A press release detailing the order explained that:
Indoor public places include:
— retail businesses
— shopping centres
— personal services businesses such as hair and nail salons, spas, body art facilities, except during services that require removing a mask
— restaurants and bars, except while people are eating or drinking
— places of worship or faith gatherings
— places for cultural or entertainment services or activities such as movie theatres, concerts and other performances
— places for sports and recreational activities such as a gym, pool or indoor tennis facility, except while doing an activity where a mask cannot be worn
— places for events such as conferences and receptions
— municipal or provincial government locations offering services to the public
— common areas of tourist accommodations such as lobbies, elevators and hallways
— common areas of office buildings such as lobbies, elevators and hallways, but not private offices
— public areas of a university or college campus, such as library or student union building, but not classrooms, labs, offices or residences
— train or bus stations, ferry terminals and airports
Children under two are exempt, as well as children aged two to four when their caregiver cannot get them to wear a mask. People with a valid medical reason for not wearing a mask are exempt. Schools, daycares and day camps continue to follow their reopening plans.
A previously issued order mandating mask use on public transportation (buses, taxis, etc) is effective today.
“I firmly believe most Nova Scotians will do the right thing” and wear a mask, said Strang. He stressed that Public Health is taking a “positive, supportive approach” and is not focused on enforcement; “taking a strong, heavy-handed enforcement approach will not work in something like that,” he said.
Nova Scotia has gone nine days without a new known case of COVID-19, but the source of infection for the positive case that was announced on July 15 is still not known.
Strang said the mask order is intended to get people in the practice of wearing a mask before a second wave of COVID infections comes to Nova Scotia, which he said he expects to happen sometime this fall.
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