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Coronavirus: What’s open, what’s closed in Halifax area under eased public health restrictions

Visitors stroll through Point Pleasant Park in Halifax on Friday, Aug. 13, 2010.
Visitors stroll through Point Pleasant Park in Halifax on Friday, Aug. 13, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Despite Nova Scotia announcing it would be easing off some of its strict preventive measures amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, there are still places in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) where you aren’t allowed to go.

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil and chief public health officer Dr. Robert Strang announced the immediate reopening of provincial and municipal parks on Friday.

READ MORE: Halifax Public Gardens now open, physical distance and gathering rules still apply

Soon after, the HRM said it would immediately start reopening parks in response to the province’s directive but noted that may take some time to be fully complete.

“With over 900 parks and 425 km of trails in the municipality, this process will take time,” the city said in a release Tuesday. “Staff are working quickly to remove all barricades, locks and gates from parks to adjust to these changes.

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“We ask residents for their patience during the reopening period.”

Global reporter goes out to see how people in Nova Scotia reacting to loosened restrictions
Global reporter goes out to see how people in Nova Scotia reacting to loosened restrictions

In a release Tuesday, the city clarified that all beaches, sports courts and playgrounds still remain closed until further notice.

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Here are the park assets in the city that have reopened and those that remain closed:

Open:

  • Parks
  • Green spaces
  • Trails
  • Municipal cemeteries
  • Skate parks
  • Off-leash dog parks, (Note: Shubie Park beach remains closed.)
  • Boat launches in parks (Note: All boat launches connected to beaches or recreation facilities will remain closed.)
  • Community gardens

Closed:

  • Sports courts (basketball, pickleball, tennis, etc.)
  • Artificial turf fields
  • Ball diamonds and sports fields — while the provincial statement indicated that these are permitted to open, the municipality’s standard process is to open these in late May/early June, weather dependent. The municipality will provide additional updates closer to the facilities’ typical opening dates.
  • Sports/running tracks located adjacent to sports fields/artificial turf fields
  • Beaches located in parks (Note: As per provincial direction, the parks are open but the beach areas are closed.)
  • Playgrounds

Even though the province is reopening sports fields, the city said it will not be taking bookings due to physical-distancing requirements.

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The city is also reminding the public that police can still hand out tickets to those who break COVID-19 restrictions.

READ MORE: As Halifax works to reopen more than 900 parks, sports courts will remain closed

Fines under the health protection and emergency management acts range from $697.50 to $1,000.