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Excitement, caution as bars and restaurants to reopen in Nova Scotia

A woman wears a face mask and another does not as they wait in line outside a store on Sainte-Catherine Street in Montreal, Sunday, May 31, 2020. Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Nova Scotia bars and restaurants that have been closed for months because of COVID-19 restrictions will finally reopen Friday with a mix of optimism and concern.

Brendan Doherty, co-owner of the Old Triangle Irish Alehouse in Halifax, says any excitement at welcoming back customers is tempered by the realization that it won’t be business as usual because of physical distancing and other health requirements.

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Doherty says operating margins will be even tighter than usual in what can be an unforgiving business.

He says his pub is projecting business will be cut to about 30 per cent of previous revenues – if all goes well.

Luc Erjavec, vice-president Atlantic for the industry group Restaurants Canada, says many restaurants aren’t sure how customers will react to the changes, or even if they’ll come back in the numbers required to keep businesses afloat.

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Businesses that will be allowed to reopen include restaurant dining rooms, bars, hair salons, barber shops, gyms and yoga studios among others.

Some health providers can also reopen, including dentistry, optometry, chiropractic and physiotherapy services.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2020.

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