N.S. retail, fitness businesses expand capacity with loosened COVID-19 restrictions

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HALIFAX — Nova Scotia increased gathering limits on Monday and eased other COVID-19 restrictions amid continued low daily infection counts.

Until March 7, retail businesses and fitness facilities can bump their operating capacities to 75 per cent, providing they follow physical distancing rules.

Brad Hawkins, GoodLife Fitness's senior director of operations for Atlantic Canada, said the gym chain is enthusiastic about the new rules.

"In reviewing the new capacity limits and GoodLife’s current standards, this change will result in minor capacity updates to two of our 12 locations in the province," Hawkins said in an email.

With the new rules, recognized businesses and organizations can host events with up to 150 people outdoors or with a maximum of 100 people indoors, though the limit for household gatherings remains at 10 people.

The province said the new gathering limits apply to sport and recreation events, festivals, weddings with receptions, funerals and faith observations.

Wedding receptions and funeral visitations had been prohibited across the province, while retail and fitness businesses had to operate at 50 per cent capacity.

Public health officials reported one new case of COVID-19 Monday, related to travel outside the Atlantic region.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 8, 2021.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press