Coronavirus: Newfoundland and Labrador permit gradual reopening of businesses

Newfoundland and Labrador have announced that the province will enter “Alert Level 4” on Monday, which allows the gradual resumption of some activities and business operations, while maintaining certain public health measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Public Health will carefully monitor each alert level to determine the pace at which restrictions can be relaxed or strengthened,” said the government in a press release.

“Moving to another alert level depends on several factors including the number of new cases of COVID-19, an increase in community transmission, and health system capacity.”

Gatherings and Public Spaces

In Alert Level 4, the province has announced that gathering for funerals, burials and weddings are expanded to a group of 10 people, as long as physical distancing can be maintained. Visitation and wakes remain prohibited.

“The expansion to 10 people does not mean individuals can start throwing parties, holding dinner parties, or arranging large family get-togethers,” the province said.

In the meantime, people are reminded to remain in their own household bubble or chosen double bubble as first announced on April 30. People should not have close contact with anyone else outside their two-household bubble.

Outdoor and Recreational Activities

The province said activities, like walking, hiking, or bike riding, are all encouraged as long as physical distancing can be maintained.

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“Municipal parks can open. Playground equipment in these parks; however, is not to be used during Alert Level 4,” said the government.

Recreational angling and hunting are permitted.

Golf courses and driving ranges can open, with some restrictions and limitations in place. Mini-golf courses are not permitted to open at this time.

Businesses and Services

The province also announced that regulated childcare centres may reopen, with restrictions in place.

However, work-from-home policies are still being encouraged.

“Professional services, such as accounting firms, law firms, and financial services, can offer in-person services, provided the principles of physical distancing and hand hygiene can be maintained,” the government stated.

In-person worker and workplace safety training are also being permitted as long as physical distancing and hand hygiene measures can be maintained. This includes Standard First Aid Training, Basic Safety Training, and Food Safety Training.

Animal daycare centres can open.

Garden centres can open for in-person sales and service. Landscaping and lawn care services can also resume.

Retail stores that do not offer essential services remain closed to in-person service during Alert Level 4.

Bars and lounges remain closed, as do cinemas.

Personal service establishments including spas, esthetic services, hair salons, body piercing and tattooing salons, and tanning salons remain closed during this level.

In-person dining in restaurants also remains closed. Take-out, delivery and drive-thru options are still permitted.

People are still being encouraged to wash their hands frequently, practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette, maintain physical distancing and wear a non-medical mask or face covering when it’s difficult to maintain physical distancing.

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