The province could also reopen to Canadian travelers outside the Atlantic provinces later this summer.
During the province’s COVID-19 briefing on May 28, Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang said the province is currently considering a target date of July 1.
“But there’s a lot that needs to happen and a lot of talking between now and then,” Strang said at the briefing.
During the briefing, Nova Scotia released its reopening plan which details how the province will gradually reopen in five separate phases. The first phase is scheduled to start on June 2.
Each phase of the plan will last between two and four weeks depending on vaccination rates, COVID-19 cases and number of hospitalizations.
If the first two phases last every two to two weeks, Nova Scotia is expected to enter its third phase – which includes the reopening of the Atlantic bubble – on July 1.
According to the plan, Nova Scotia must meet its goal of giving at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to 65% of its population to begin phase three.
The province is also expected to see a low number of hospitalizations and COVID-19 cases.
For the Atlantic bubble to reopen in phase three, Premier Iain Rankin said the epidemiology of the other three Atlantic provinces is also a crucial detail.
Earlier this week, Prince Edward Island announced plans to reopen to Atlantic travelers on June 27 and to all of Canada by September 12.
New Brunswick also announced that it hopes to reopen its doors to the rest of Atlantic Canada on July 1 and drop all COVID-19 restrictions by August 2.
Nova Scotia has not released any scheduled reopening dates. Rankin said Atlantic Canada’s premiers will continue to discuss reopening dates later in June.
The plan to reopen the province also states that “travelers from outside Atlantic Canada may enter with [a] 14-day quarantine ”in phase three.
Strang said if things go well, the quarantine requirement could potentially be limited or removed for other Canadian travelers who show proof of vaccination or testing.
The plan to reopen the province says it is expected to come into effect during phase four. This phase should be implemented two to four weeks after phase three and when at least 75% of the population of Nova Scotia has at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
“It’s a whole month and a lot of discussions also need to take place between provinces to make sure we’re aligned and consistent in a number of areas,” Strang said.
As of May 28, Nova Scotia has administered 560,843 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. As of May 25, more than 48% of the population of Nova Scotia had received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Today, May 29, the province reported 33 new cases of COVID-19 and a total of 566 active cases.