FAQs from Communication Nova Scotia

Businesses:
 
What sectors are considered essential and do not have to follow the social distancing rules?
Essential-service sectors in Nova Scotia, which are exempt from the social gathering limit of no more than five people are:
-- health
-- food, agri-food and fisheries
-- transportation
-- construction and manufacturing
-- IT, telecommunications and critical infrastructure
-- public services, such as police, fire and ambulances
 
If I work in a non-essential business, like a call centre, do I go to work?
Any business that can maintain social distance of 2 metres or 6 feet between clients and customers can stay open. If social distance can’t be maintained, the business must limit the number of customers or clients on its premises to no more than 5 people at a time.
 
Businesses should regularly clean and disinfect workspaces and high-touch areas at least twice a day or as required, and ensure employees are practicing good hygiene.
 
What if I can’t always maintain social distance with customers?
If you cannot maintain social distances of 2 metres or 6 feet, you are required to limit the number of customers or clients on the premises to no more than five people at a time.
 
Businesses should regularly clean and disinfect workspaces and high-touch areas at least twice a day or as required, and ensure employees are practicing good hygiene.
 
What if I can maintain six feet of social distance in my workplace?
If you work in or run a business where social distancing guidelines of 2 metres or 6 feet can be maintained, there can be more than five people on the premises.
 
Businesses should regularly clean and disinfect workspaces and high-touch areas at least twice a day or as required, and ensure employees are practicing good hygiene.
 
What about malls?
Currently malls can remain open, provided social distance of 2 metres or 6 feet can be maintained between customers. In stores where this is not the case, no more than 5 customers or clients can be on the premises at any one time.
 
What if I provide health services and I own my own business (for example a physiotherapist)?
People who are self- regulated health professionals, like a physiotherapist, and operate their own business can only provide in-person emergency or urgent care services. They can also provide virtual care for non-emergency /elective care services if authorized to provide virtual care within their scope of practice.
 
Anyone in a non-regulated health profession, like a naturopath, must close. One exception is podiatrists who must follow the directive related to regulated health professions.
 
Should public transit continue running?
Public transit can continue to operate. Where possible, they should have passengers maintain social distance. High-touch surfaces should also be regularly cleaned and disinfected.
 
Should hotels stay open?
Businesses and organizations who can maintain social distancing requirements of 2 metres or 6 feet can stay open. Like all businesses and organizations, hotels should regularly clean and disinfect high-touch areas at least twice a day or as required, and ensure employees are practicing good hygiene.
 
Is there any direction on what Taxi drivers should do to protect drivers and clients and still be in compliance with public health orders?
General guidelines recommend frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces between each customer.
 
What organizations and professions are exempt from the social distancing requirements AND the 5-person social gathering limits?

  • Hospitals
  • Any court operating essential services
  • Correctional facilities for adults and youth
  • Probation offices
  • Unlicensed child-care facilities
  • Homeless shelters
  • Health professions who are independent practitioners engaged in community practice including doctors, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, nurses, continuing care workers, home care workers, paramedics
  • People who provide, service or repair medical equipment like wheelchairs and home oxygen equipment
  • Residential facilities for persons with disabilities
  • Residential settings for children in care of the province
  • Long-term care facilities and home care agencies
  • Food production plants
  • Fishing vessels


 
Municipal entities and contractors:

  • Taxi services
  • Police and fire services
  • Municipal utilities (water, wastewater, stormwater)
  • Maintenance of utilities and municipal facilities 
  •  Transportation 
  • Road maintenance/repair  
  • Municipal ICT systems and services 
  • Public Transit 
  • Solid Waste, garbage and litter collection and disposal 
  • Urban Forestry 
  • Municipal logistic, distribution, storage, inventory and repair services