Newfoundland and Labrador | Prince Edward Island

Significant loosening of COVID-19 restrictions / Multistage reopening plans in Atlantic Canada

February 10, 2022

In response to the region’s continued success in dealing with COVID-19, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador have all taken steps to significantly loosen COVID-19 restrictions.  In fact, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island released multi-step plans to move eliminate all COVID-19 restrictions by mid-April 2022.   New Brunswick is expected to unveil a similar plan by the end of this week.   

This is encouraging news for RCC members in particular as it will occur in advance of the lucrative summer / fall tourism seasons.

Nova Scotia

As of February 14, 2022, Nova Scotia will begin Phase 1 of its three phase, Reopening Plan.  If all goes well, this plan will eliminate all COVID-19 restrictions by mid-April 2022. 

Each stage will last approximately 4 weeks. 

Phase 1 (Feb. 14, 2022)

  • No specific capacity restrictions for retail and salons but physical distancing must occur.
  • Line up for each retail store cannot exceed 25 people.
  • Restaurants can operate at 75% capacity with 2 metres between tables and a table size of 25 individuals max.  Restaurants must stop dine in service by midnight and close by 1am.
  • Cinemas can operate at 50% capacity with physical distancing.  Cinema patrons must be masked at all times and must go to a designated area for eating or drinking.
  • Music lessons can operate at 75% capacity with physical distancing.  Wearing a mask is required except during an activity that makes it difficult to wear the mask.  1 to 1 lessons are permitted.
  • Proof of vaccination is required for all discretionary activities.
  • For businesses that do not require proof of vaccination, masks must be worn at all times except when actively eating or drinking.
  • Operational plans are still required.
  • All border restrictions / isolation requirements for domestic travellers entering Nova Scotia will be lifted.

Phase 2 (approximately one month after the beginning of Phase 1)

  • No specific capacity restrictions for retail, salons and restaurants but physical distancing must occur.
  • Restaurants can return to regular operational hours and must have 2 metres between tables and a table size of 25 individuals max.
  • Cinemas can operate at 75% capacity with physical distancing.  Cinema patrons must be masked when seated, except when eating or drinking.  Cinema patrons can eat and drink in their seats.
  • Music lessons can operate at maximum capacity with physical distancing.  Wearing a mask is required except during an activity that makes it difficult to wear the mask.  1 to 1 lessons are permitted.
  • Proof of vaccination is required for all discretionary activities.
  • For businesses that do not require proof of vaccination, masks must be worn at all times except when actively eating or drinking.
  • Operational plans are still required.

Phase 3 (approximately one month after the beginning of Phase 2)

  • All COVID-19 related business restrictions are removed BUT the government may require mask wearing and showing proof of vaccination.

See press release.

Details of the Reopening Plan.

Prince Edward Island

As of February 17, 2022, PEI will begin Step 1 of its three step, Moving On-Transition Plan.  If all goes well, this plan will eliminate all COVID-19 restrictions by mid-April 2022.  Each stage will last approximately 3-4 weeks. 

Step 1 (Feb. 17, 2022)

  • Retail and restaurants can operate at 50% capacity.  Note: Restaurant table size of 20 individuals max.
  • Proof of vaccination is required for all discretionary activities.
  • For businesses that do not require proof of vaccination, masks must be worn at all times except when actively eating or drinking.
  • No isolation for fully vaccinated travellers and children under 12 with fully vaccinated family but must be tested on entry and on days 2 and 4 with antigen tests. 
  • Operational plans are still required.

Step 2 (March 17, 2022)

  • Retail and restaurants can operate at 75% capacity with no restaurant table size restrictions.
  • Proof of vaccination is required for all discretionary activities with crowds of over 200 people.
  • For businesses that do not require proof of vaccination, masks must be worn at all times except when actively eating or drinking.
  • Operational plans are still required.

Step 3 (April 7, 2022)

  • All COVID-19 related business restrictions are removed.
  • No testing/screening at anticipated points of entry.

See press release.

See Moving On – Transition Plan to Living with COVID-19.

Newfoundland and Labrador

As of February 14, 2022, Newfoundland and Labrador will:

  • Eliminate specific capacity restrictions for retail.
  • Restaurants and cinemas can operate at 50% capacity. 
  • Physical distancing will still be required for RCC member businesses.
Jim Cormier

For questions or more information contact

Jim Cormier
Director, Government Relations (Atlantic)
jcormier@retailcouncil.org 
902 422-4144

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