Stephen: Entire province to move to Alert Level 2 this coming Saturday at midnight

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In light of low case numbers, no hospitalizations since late February, and a lack of non-epi linked cases in the province of late, all of Newfoundland & Labrador will move to Alert Level 2 this coming Saturday (Mar 27) at midnight. Because of the expectation of more variants of COVID-19 showing up in the province, there will be modifications made to Alert Level 2 as opposed to the last time the province was there.

Formal gathering sizes are capped at 50 people but if things continue to go well, that number will be raised. A “Steady 20” is being recommended for close contacts per household. This does not include student cohorts. Fitness facilities can open with a maximum capacity of 50 people per room with physical distancing guidelines in place. Those that are able to continue working from home are advised to do so.

Return to play plans for sports are to be submitted to Public health. Regional competition may be allowed upon review and approval of the return to play plan. Tournaments aren’t allowed right now, but that could change. Come prepared to play (reduce having to get ready at the playing facility). Activities are encouraged to move outdoors as weather conditions improve, as risk of infection is lower outside than inside.

Continued use of masks is strongly encouraged, especially when interacting people outside of our “steady 20”. Check below for a full breakdown of rules for Alert Level 2:

 

At Alert Level 2, our focus is to control transmission while maintaining health system capacity throughout further re-opening of social and business activities.

Life at Alert Level 2:

Your responsibility:

  • Follow Public Health Guidance for All Alert Levels.
  • People can move about more. Those at higher risk of complications due to COVID-19 should stay at home as much as possible, except to get essentials like groceries and medications.
  • Your household bubble can interact with up to 20 close, consistent contacts from outside your household (Steady 20).
  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms please use the Self-Assessment and Testing Referral tool, or contact 811 when online services are not accessible.

Public Spaces and Gatherings:

  • Formal gatherings run by a recognized business or organization are limited to no more than 50 people. Physical distancing must be maintained.
  • Public visitations are permitted, with one household bubble visiting at a time. Wakes are prohibited.
  • Informal gatherings are limited to only those in your Steady 20.

Recreational Activities:

  • Outdoor playgrounds and equipment can be used, where owner/operators allow.
  • Gym and fitness facilities, yoga studios, swimming pools, tennis and squash facilities, arenas, and dance studios are permitted to open, in accordance with guidelines.
  • Group and team sport, arts and recreation activities are permitted, in accordance with guidelines.
  • Performance spaces can open with a maximum capacity of 50 people. Physical distancing must be maintained.

Health care services:

  • Private health care clinics can open in accordance with guidelines.
  • Visitor restrictions for acute care, long term care, personal care homes, community care homes, and assisted living facilities are in accordance with the Guidelines for Support Persons/Designated Visitors.

Businesses and Services:

  • Child care services can operate at full capacity.
  • Retail stores, including those in shopping malls, can open at reduced capacity. Physical distancing must be maintained.
  • Personal service establishments, including spas, esthetic services, hair salons, body piercing, tattooing and tanning salons, can open in accordance with guidelines.
  • Restaurants can open for in-person dining at 50 per cent capacity as long as physical distancing can be maintained between patrons seated at adjacent tables. Buffets are prohibited.
  • Bars and lounges are permitted to open at 50 per cent capacity, in accordance with guidelines.
  • Cinemas and bingo halls are permitted to open with a maximum capacity of 50 people per room. Physical distancing must be maintained.

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