Some NS theaters choosing to keep COVID-19 face masks a requirement


With COVID-19 cases on the rise in Nova Scotia and restrictions lifted, not everyone feels it’s the right time to remove masks for good.

In fact, to enter the Savoy Theater in Glace Bay, NS, face coverings are still mandatory.

“We’re a large venue, so there’s a large gathering limit. This is the first time in two years really that everything is wide open,” said Pam Leader, the executive director at Savoy Theatre.

The fear is that the virus will spread quickly inside the 800-seat theater without masks, and postponing or canceling shows is not something Leader plans to do.

“To be quite honest, considering this is the first time we’ve really opened in two years, we want to stay opened,” she said. “So, we’re going to do everything in our power to stay open without having something else shut us down.”

In Halifax, Neptune Theater is also requiring patterns to mask-up.

Just down the road at the Carbon Arc Cinema, screenings remain at half capacity to allow for a socially-distanced audience, who are also encouraged to wear a mask.

Public health’s approach to monitoring the pandemic has changed as the province moves into a transitional phase, according to the province’s chief medical officer of health.

“The public health advice and my advice is that people can be out and about, but make your choices wisely and follow precautions carefully,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health.

It’s been just over two weeks since the province lifted most public health restrictions. Since then, cases of COVID-19 have skyrocketed, but Strang is reluctant to reinstate any public health mandates.

At the Highland Arts Theater in Sydney, NS, it will be up to each individual to decide whether or not to wear a face covering.

“People have many reasons why it might not be appropriate or they might not be contagious at this point. We don’t want to get into the business of policing people at this point,” said theater director Wesley Colford.

Back in Glace Bay, Leader says the overall public response to keeping masks on inside the facility has been positive.

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