GUIDELINES AND TIPS FOR PREPARING TO REOPEN BUSINESSES & ORGANIZATIONS - COVID-19 (updated May 28, 2020)
The province of Nova Scotia announced on May 27, 2020, that most sectors of the economy may begin to reopen. Provincial grant funding was also announced to help businesses open safely, as well as new infrastructure spending.
Effective June 5, most businesses that were required to close under the Public Health Order will be permitted to reopen, including:
- Restaurants, for both dine in and take out;
- Bars, wineries distilleries and craft beer taprooms (lounges are not permitted to reopen yet);
- Personal services, including hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, tattoo parlours, nail salons;
- Fitness facilities, including gyms, yoga studios;
- Dentistry and other self-regulated health professions such as optometry, chiropractic and physiotherapy;
- Unregulated health professions such as massage therapy, podiatry and naturopathy; and
The province is working on a plan to re-open childcare centres by June 15.
To reopen, industry associations representing businesses and organizations that were required to close under the Health Protection Act Order must develop a plan for their sector. Public Health is meeting with industry associations to share public health principles and provide information to help them develop their plans.
Industry associations need to share their plans with the businesses and organizations in their sector. Businesses and organizations should contact their association to learn what they need to do to reopen safely.
Every business now permitted to re-open must follow protocols in the industry plan that is tailored to their sector. Businesses and organizations that were not required to close under the Health Protection Act Order should develop a plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and must adhere to public health protocol.
All businesses must continue to follow public health protocol, namely:
- Adhering to the “2m/6ft rule” wherever possible;
- Abide by applicable limits on gathering sizes;
- Increase cleaning, especially high-touch surfaces and washrooms;
- Encourage increased handwashing and wearing face masks where it is difficult to maintain a 2m distance.
Businesses and other organizations can find information to help them safely reopen at https://novascotia.ca/reopening-nova-scotia
Small business reopening and support grant
The province also announced that eligible businesses, non-profits, charities and social enterprises will be able to access the new Small Business Reopening and Support Grant, a $25 million fund that will provide grants of up to $5,000 to help them open safely and business continuity vouchers for advice and support to become more resilient in the coming months.
In addition to the grant, Premier McNeil said that the province is offering a voucher worth $1,500 to access consulting services to offer advice.
More information will be available online at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus and applications will begin June 1. If you received the Small Business Impact Grant, you do not need to apply and will be contacted by the province directly.
New infrastructure funding
The province also announced a $230 million infrastructure investment, for projects such as road paving, bridge replacement, school repairs and museum upgrades. The investment is estimated to create approximately 2,000 jobs this fiscal year.
FAQ’s for Re-opening
You can find a section on our website with FAQs regarding reopening: https://www.annapoliscounty.ca/…/emergency-management-remo/…
PREPARING TO REOPEN BUSINESSES & ORGANIZATIONS - COVID-19
As Nova Scotia slowly starts to plan and prepare for businesses and organizations to reopen it is important to keep in mind that the pandemic COVID-19 is not over. There will be many health orders and guidelines that must be maintained in order to be compliant for employers and employees. If orders and guidelines aren't followed it may mean that restrictions and closures will be required once again.
On this page you will find information from:
- The Province of Nova Scotia
- Canadian Centre of Occupational Health & Safety Canada
The province of Nova Scotia has now provided a website that you can visit to find out more information on:
- Businesses and organizations required to close
- Businesses and organizations not required to close
- Keeping workplaces safe
- Keeping customers safe
The province of Nova Scotia is providing information to help you with a Workplace COVID-19 Prevention Plan.
It includes information on:
☑How you work and interact with customers
☑Physical distancing in the workplace
☑Preparing employees to return to work
☑Preparing for customers or clients
☑Monitoring and communicating your plan
Industry association plans (questions and plan submissions) email@example.com
Occupational Health and Safety (safety questions) 1-800-952-2687
Labour Standards (your rights and obligations at work) 1-888-315-0110
- Canadian Business Resilience Network
- COVID-19 factsheets and posters
- COVID-19 Response Standards and Handbooks (CSA)
- Hard surface disinfectants, hygiene and hand sanitizers (COVID-19)
- Health Protection Act Order by the Medical Officer of Health (PDF 1.6 MB)
- Pandemic (COVID-19) Tip Sheets
- Preventing COVID-19 in the workplace
- Risk-informed decision-making guidelines for workplaces and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Working Safely by Industry
Businesses and workplaces across the country will eventually reopen their doors for employees and customers to return. However, returning to the workplace after the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown won’t be as easy as hopping on the bus, turning on equipment, and catching up on some much-needed socializing with colleagues. Many new norms will likely replace previously established routines.
Employers will need to be prudent and careful, while adhering to public health measures and legislation from their jurisdiction, in order to ensure the health and safety of their employees, their customers, and the public.
It’s important to understand that the coronavirus will still be circulating so new infections are possible. A reduction in distancing and isolation measures does not mean the virus is gone; it means that infection rates have slowed enough that the health care system is expected to be able to handle the probable cases. If infection rates increase, another period of higher restrictive measures could be reintroduced, and workplaces will need to adjust accordingly.
Employers should consider performing a deep cleaning of the facility before workers return, and make sure that good sanitation practices are in place once business resumes. Make sure washrooms are cleaned frequently and are stocked with soap, paper towels and a plastic lined waste container.
Provide workers with
- wipes or ways to clean their workspace, and
- provide hand sanitizer at customer service areas, entrances and exits, checkouts, and help desks.
- Clean offices, lunchrooms, and workspaces at least once per day, and more often for high-traffic areas and contact surfaces.
- Focus on frequently touched and shared surfaces such as keys, doors, handles, phones, tables, chairs, and kitchen equipment.
Employers must do everything possible, under the circumstances, to protect the health and safety of workers and customers by providing adequate information, training, sanitation, and personal protective equipment. Set a clear policy for what is expected of workers if they get sick, have symptoms, or if an exposure is reported at the organization. Make sure staff are aware of this policy. Clearly communicate to employees before the re-opening to ensure they are informed of any changes and they are able to ask questions.
Consider having a phased-in approach when recalling workers, such as only recalling those workers that are needed for specific functions initially.
- Consider having some workers continue to work remotely if it is possible for them to do so.
- Workers living with immunocompromising health conditions (including chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart or lung issues, or cancer) or who have family members who are immunocompromised may need to continue to work remotely.
Make sure workers know about the virus and how to minimize its spread. Post signs to remind people to practice physical distancing, good respiratory etiquette, and hand hygiene. Provide enough items for each worker such as phones, tablets, walkie-talkies and tools to avoid unnecessary sharing. If items must be shared, clean them with alcohol or disinfectant wipes between users.
Make sure workers know about the virus and how to minimize its spread.
- Post signs to remind people to practice physical distancing, good respiratory etiquette, and hand hygiene.
- Provide enough items for each worker such as phones, tablets, walkie-talkies and tools to avoid unnecessary sharing.
- If items must be shared, clean them with alcohol or disinfectant wipes between users.
Some changes to business operation may be required to accommodate physical distancing.
- Spread out workers by using every other workstation or setting up spare rooms or meeting areas as workspaces.
- Stagger working hours to avoid the use of public transit during peak times, and to give workers enough space during the day.
- Consider how people will use shared spaces such as the cafeteria, lunchroom, hallways, changing rooms, and washrooms.
- Keep close contact to a minimum and less than 15 minutes.
- Allow only one person at a time if spacing cannot be maintained.
- Post signs to indicate the space is being used.
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Public Health Agency of Canada
- Infectious Disease Outbreaks/Pandemics, CCOHS
- Pandemic (COVID-19) Tip Sheets, CCOHS
- Re-Opening Workplaces during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic, Canadian enviroOSH Legislation, CCOHS
- Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- COVID-19: Back to the Workplace – Adapting workplaces and protecting workers, European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA)
Note that the guidance provided in these tip sheets cover just some of the adjustments organizations can make during a pandemic. To meet your organization’s specific needs, add your own good practices and policies to these recommendations.
Reopening for Business