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COVID-19 restrictions in Nova Scotia are tough, but they could get tougher: premier

Last Updated May 6, 2021 at 10:24 pm PDT

FILE -- Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin takes questions from reporters after the speech from the throne at the legislature in Halifax on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. The Throne Speech marks the opening of the first full sitting of the legislature since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, employing a so-called hybrid model with only 12 of its 51 members in the chamber. The CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s premier says he might impose tougher travel restrictions to reduce the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, as Atlantic Canada’s worst COVID-19 outbreak shows no signs of letting up.

Premier Iain Rankin told a virtual news conference today he has grown frustrated with residents and visitors who aren’t taking the pandemic seriously, despite the fact the number of active cases has jumped from 79 two weeks ago to more than 1,200 on Wednesday.

Rankin says the restrictions imposed last week when the province went into a two-week lockdown were harsher than the measures taken during the first wave of the pandemic last year.

On April 27, the province ordered the closure of schools, malls, gyms, bars, restaurants and most retail stores — and it  closed its borders to all non-essential travel.

Rankin also doubled the maximum fine for those caught violating the province’s public health rules, including a ban on travel between municipalities.

Earlier today, police in two Nova Scotia communities confirmed they had laid charges in connection with COVID-19 restrictions.

In New Glasgow, N.S., police say a 32-year-old driver on his way to New Brunswick was charged under the Emergency Management Act for travelling for non-essential business and for leaving his home municipality.

And in Cape Breton, police charged a 56-year-old New Waterford, N.S., man Wednesday for violating a provision of the Health Protection Act that says anyone arriving from outside Nova Scotia, P.E.I. or Newfoundland and Labrador must self-isolate for 14 days.

He was handed a $2,000 fine.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2021.

The Canadian Press