HALIFAX — Nova Scotia will move into the final phase of its reopening plan on Monday with what officials say is a cautious approach involving mandatory vaccination for professions such as health workers and teachers by the end of November.
Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, says vaccination will be required for a broad range of public employees, including hospital and long-term care workers, physicians, paramedics, teachers and other educational staff.
He says those workers will need to provide proof of vaccination by Nov. 30 or face being put on unpaid administrative leave.
Workers who are not vaccinated will be required to participate in a vaccine education program before the deadline, and all new hires in the mandated professions will need to be fully vaccinated.
While most restrictions will be lifted under Phase 5, the wearing of masks will continue to be mandatory in indoor public spaces and the limits for informal gatherings of 25 people indoors and 50 outdoors will remain in place.
Proof of full vaccination will be required beginning Monday for people 12 and over taking part in non-essential events and activities, such as going to restaurants, movies, sports events, theatre performances and gyms.
It will also be required for designated caregivers and visitors of residents in long-term care facilities.
In a news release, Premier Tim Houston said the cautious approach is necessary so the province can "keep moving forward, even in the midst of the fourth wave.”
Nova Scotia reported 41 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.
Thirty-two new cases were identified in the Halifax area, four in the province's northern zone, three in its eastern zone and two in the western zone.
The province currently has a total of 224 active novel coronavirus infections.
Officials say 12 people are in hospital because of the virus, with two of them in intensive care.
According to provincial data, 80.4 per cent of the population has had at least one dose of a vaccine while 74.6 are fully vaccinated.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 29, 2021.
The Canadian Press