Theatres & COVID-19
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July 2022 Restrictions Lifted
COVID-19/HEALTH/WELLNESS--Lifting COVID-19 Restrictions
Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's Chief Medical Officer of Health, announced today, July 4, that Nova Scotia will remove all remaining COVID-19 restrictions in the community on Wednesday, July 6.
Most restrictions in high-risk settings will remain in place.
"This is the right time. Although we expect to see smaller waves of COVID-19 variants over the summer, our high vaccine coverage and low risk of severe disease from Omicron variants make it manageable as we learn to live with COVID-19. That's why we are removing the remaining COVID-19 restrictions for the general public," said Dr. Strang. "The pandemic is not over. But Nova Scotians have the tools and resources to make the right decisions to keep each other safe."
Effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, July 6:
-- isolation shifts from being mandatory to strongly recommended for people who test positive for COVID-19
-- it is also strongly recommended that people who have symptoms such as a cough, sore throat or fever isolate until feeling better
-- it is still important for people with symptoms to avoid high-risk settings and people at higher risk
-- if a workplace has occupational health policies that are stricter than the general public health recommendations, such as mandatory masking or isolation requirements, people must continue to follow those policies.
-- will shift from strongly recommended to optional
-- masks are still strongly recommended for people who are ill or in a crowded indoor setting
-- for people who have COVID-19 symptoms but cannot isolate, it is strongly recommended they wear a well-fitted mask in indoor public places, on public transit and crowded areas
-- it is each person's own decision whether to wear a mask, weighing their risk factors and comfort and those of people around them.
-- people with symptoms will still have access to COVID-19 testing at testing centres across the province
-- people with symptoms who are in a low-risk category in their self-assessment will have access to rapid tests only and will not receive a PCR test whether or not they test positive on a rapid test
-- higher risk people and those who work or live in higher-risk congregate settings still have access to PCR testing, and it is still recommended
-- Nova Scotia will no longer offer testing for those without COVID-19 symptoms
-- rapid tests will continue to be available for pickup at public libraries and MLA offices, but people who are sick should not go.
Long-Term Care, Corrections Facilities, Shelters and Transition Houses
-- to align with the policy at hospitals, designated caregivers and visitors will no longer need proof of vaccination to visit
-- designated caregivers and visitors will be able to remove their masks when visiting in a private area or while outdoors
-- seven-day isolation for residents who test positive for COVID-19 continues to be required.
In July, Nova Scotia will shift to a monthly COVID-19 report, which will be posted online. The report will be produced on the 15th of every month and reflect the COVID-19 epidemiology in the province for the previous month. The first monthly report will be for June and will be available on July 15. The COVID-19 dashboard will continue to be updated weekly.
-- the COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Protocol in High-Risk Settings remains in place
More information on COVID-19 in Nova Scotia is available at: https://can01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fnovascotia.ca%2Fcoronavirus%2F&data=05%7C01%7CChelsea.Prime%40novascotia.ca%7C2982524ccb3a46364dda08da5dd3eba2%7C8eb23313ce754345a56a297a2412b4db%7C0%7C0%7C637925462005839159%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=tO7Ut6%2BpQ6Kjdwa0g1XooEyUCS2%2FEnpM%2FQJcTUXAgHo%3D&reserved=0
COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Protocol in High-Risk Settings: https://can01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fnovascotia.ca%2Fcoronavirus%2Fdocs%2FCOVID-19-Protocol-for-mandatory-vaccination-high-risk-settings-en.pdf&data=05%7C01%7CChelsea.Prime%40novascotia.ca%7C2982524ccb3a46364dda08da5dd3eba2%7C8eb23313ce754345a56a297a2412b4db%7C0%7C0%7C637925462005839159%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=tCnpAS4FkJqYCjf%2B14GL7UratR9fZ5luynhHjObVtko%3D&reserved=0
COVID-19 online self-assessment: https://can01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fcovid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca%2Fen&data=05%7C01%7CChelsea.Prime%40novascotia.ca%7C2982524ccb3a46364dda08da5dd3eba2%7C8eb23313ce754345a56a297a2412b4db%7C0%7C0%7C637925462005839159%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=VRIPnk3IILr85NlqdQm%2BsiukJSUA5slcdot44SSkVf0%3D&reserved=0
Epidemiologic summaries: https://can01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fnovascotia.ca%2Fcoronavirus%2Falerts-notices%2F%23epidemiologic-summaries&data=05%7C01%7CChelsea.Prime%40novascotia.ca%7C2982524ccb3a46364dda08da5dd3eba2%7C8eb23313ce754345a56a297a2412b4db%7C0%7C0%7C637925462005839159%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=kYEnGwRgkfJHwMd6eg%2B0nfngRktWMTZwzqj945efLb0%3D&reserved=0
The Live Performance Sector has been hard hit by the pandemic. A significant challenge with scheduling professional live theatre and dance productions for Summer 2022 is the potential of cancellation because of a COVID illness among the cast and crew.
The Summer Theatre & Dance Assistance Program is available to eligible not-for-profit Nova Scotia professional summer theatre and dance companies to help offset production costs for shows cancelled because of COVID-19 illness affecting the cast and crew members.
The VaxCheckNS app launched October 21, 2021. VaxCheckNS is a FREE app for organizations and businesses to scan the QR (quick read) code available on the latest Proof of Vaccination documentation provided by the government of NS, which looks like this:
The app will scan both digital (ie. PDF on your smartphone) and print versions of this NS POV document, however trials have shown that digital versions have a higher success rate. The app will not work with the older versions of NS POV documentation, however those versions continue to be acceptable and valid - they just need to be checked manually by Front of House (FOH) personnel.
Please also know the app will support reading QR codes from the following provinces and territories: Yukon, Saskatchewan, Nunavut, Manitoba, and Northwest Territories. POV from all other provinces/jurisdictions must be checked manually.
Using the App
Once downloaded and installed, open the app, select the "Scan Code" option, present the POV with QR code and frame the QR using the camera guides. The QR will read automatically, generating a green "Confirmed" screen if valid and a red "Sorry" screen if unable to confirm. If unconfirmed, check POV manually.
Example of the VaxCheckNS app process.
If you would like to see further instructions for using the app, please watch this short video.
Tips, Tricks, and Advice for using the VaxCheckNS App
We know our members will be eager to deploy this free service to speed up the entry process of patrons into their venues. Here are some tips from the Nova Scotia Business and Labour Economic Coalition to ensure fast and successful scanning:
- Digital version is preferred for fast and reliable scans.
- Digital PDF works best when QR code zoomed to fit screen.
- Screenshot of full sized PDF does not work well due to pixilation when zooming in.
- Folded or wrinkled paper does not work very well and manual inspection is suggested
- If presenting paper version, lay it flat on a table for best results.
- Apple Health also works well, as will Apple Wallet when that becomes available.
What your patrons need to know:
- They do not need to download the VaxCheckNS app to participate in the scanning process. They only need to present a digital or print version of their POV with the QR code (available to download here).
- The also need to bring and present a piece of valid ID in order to verify they are the holder of the POV.
- Their personal information will not be stored or transmitted when scanned by the app.
- Older versions of POV documentation are still acceptable - they just need to be inspected manually by FOH personnel.
What we recommend to our members to help make the entry process as smooth as possible:
- Ensure patrons have access to POV policy information at every step of the purchase process.
- Prepare patrons for what to expect upon entry. Create a page on your website where you list your COVID-19 policies and provide patrons with links for where they can easily access their POV information so they arrive prepared.
- Make sure FOH staff/volunteers have the app downloaded and tested prior to admitting the public. Also ensure they are prepared to manually check POV documentation in case patrons arrive with older versions of the documentation. Remember, the date of a patron's second vaccination must have been at least two weeks before the date of your event in order for the person to be considered fully vaccinated. More information about vaccination status is available here.
- FOH must also check a valid piece of ID after scanning/inspecting POV to verify the POV documentation matches the person presenting it.
Other helpful VaxCheckNS Resources (courtesy of Nova Scotia Business and Labour Economic Coalition):
- October 20th | Proof of Vaccination Digital Verification Presentation (PDF)
- October 6th | Proof of Vaccination Digital Verification Presentation (PDF)
Canada Actors' Equity Association Position on COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements in the Workplace
Halifax Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Employee Vaccine Policy Framework discussion
FAQ - Proof of Vaccination Policy
COVID-19 Resources - Halifax Chamber of Commerce
Manadatory Vaccine Policies - Considerations for Employers by Cox & Palmer