Today, Premier Designate Tim Houston, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang held a press conference to release the 2021-2022 NS back to school plan, as well as an update on Phase 5 of the NS reopening plan. Here are the details:
Sept 15 is the target date to move to phase 5 based on projected timeline to get to 75% vaccination (we are currently at 70% and expected to be at 72% by end of August). This can happen sooner as well. Phase 5 means no restrictions or mandatory public health measures. No masks, gathering limits, distancing etc... There will still be border measures and isolation for those incoming that aren't fully vaccinated.
The State of Emergency allows for border measures and other assurances. The focus is to get to phase 5 and the back to school plan, but the SOE is not guaranteed to be lifted when phase 5 comes.
Dr Strang is recommending border measures with NB due to increased covid activity there and the impact on new cases in NS. 2 weeks quarantine for those who are unvaccinated and 1 week for those with just 1 dose. There will be no isolation required for those that are fully vaccinated. This means NBers coming to NS or NS residents going to NB then back to NS. This will be in effect beginning August 25, 8am.
In school, masking will be in place for the time being until phase 5 where it will become voluntary (expected Sept 15, so possibly just 6 or 7 days of masks). Most everything else will appear more pre-covid normal. Schools will stay open if there is a case. The goal will be to keep schools open and operating normally.
Vaccine policy (aka ScotiaPass) will be visited if epidemiology and vaccination rates suggest policy is required, but currently there is no policy and no more news on this subject for NS.
NS Back to School Plan (press release)