Easing of Long-Term Care Home Restrictions and Mandatory Masks for Public Transportation

On July 17, our government announced that some restrictions in long-term care homes are being eased and non-medical masks will become mandatory on public transportation.

Effective July 22, the following can be implemented by long-term care facilities:

  • Both indoor and outdoor visits will be allowed with limited numbers of visitors and scheduled appointments. Residents and visitors must wear masks and observe physical distancing, except for limited physical contact like a hug.
  • Residents and staff can gather in groups of 10 or less for dining, recreation or socializing without physical distancing. Groups should remain consistent and visitors cannot join.
  • Sightseeing bus trips for groups of up to 10 people (including residents, staff and driver) are allowed. Residents and staff cannot get off the bus and thorough cleaning before and after each trip is required.
  • Licensed hair salons within long-term care homes can reopen to serve residents only.

Individual long-term care facilities will decide which of the above changes they will implement. Adult Residential Centres and Regional Rehabilitation Centres licensed by the Department of Community Services will also implement indoor visits under the same guidelines.

Effective July 24, it will be mandatory for drivers and passengers to wear a non-medical mask on public transportation. Children under two and people with a valid medical reason for not wearing a mask are exempt. Passengers are asked to use their own masks as much as possible. Government will help public transportation services with supplies of masks for people who don’t have one.

Public transportation includes:

  • Municipal transit buses and ferries;
  • School buses;
  • Community transit vehicles; and
  • Private taxis and shuttles.

Information about wearing a non-medical mask can be found at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/staying-healthy/#masks.