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Nova Scotia releases guidance for Remembrance Day ceremonies during COVID-19

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Nova Scotia has released its guidance for Remembrance Day ceremonies five days ahead of Nov. 11.

Many of the rules will be familiar for those who’ve been paying attention to the province’s COVID-19 restrictions but there are some additional points Nova Scotia has added specifically regarding Remembrance Day.

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The guidance, which been published online, is divided into two categories: one for event planners and another for event attendees.

As always, Nova Scotians are urged not to attend if they feel ill or are self-isolating.

Attendees

Nova Scotia is reminding residents that masks are mandatory for indoor public places whenever a ceremony is indoors.

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Gathering limits should be followed, the province says and attendees should follow public health guidance, including physical distancing, thorough washing of hands and proper cough or sneeze etiquette.

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Event planners

The province is urging event planners to consider hosting a virtual Remembrance Day ceremony in lieu of in-person ceremonies.

If they are holding a physical ceremony, then non-medical masks must be worn if the ceremony is in an indoor public place.

Physical distancing of at least six feet (2 m) must always be maintained except for groups of up to 10 people from the same household or consistent close social group.

Ceremonies hosted by a recognized business or organization can have 250 people outdoors or 50 per cent of a venue’s indoor capacity to a maximum of 200 people, the province says.

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Ceremonies hosted by a community group that is not a recognized organization can have a maximum of 50 people indoors or outdoors.

The province is also asking that events be by invitation only in order to reduce the number of people and help protect veterans or other attendees who may be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

Planners are urged to arrange for a separate entrance and exit for the ceremony while names and contact information of the participants and attendees should be recorded in order to assist with contact tracing if necessary.

Wreaths should also be placed in advance of the ceremony to avoid people moving during the ceremony.

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The province is also urging organizers to make sure that musical performances, such as The Last Post and O Canada must follow the province’s guidance for musicians, which requires physical distancing of at least six feet.

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Attendees should be asked not to sing along.

The province says that if food is served at a reception after the ceremony, it should be prepared in individual servings or a single person should be designated to serve all food to guests.

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