Kids can’t cross N.S. border for sports events

New rules put in place to limit COVID-19 transmission among kids at cultural events

Nova Scotia children 11 and under will have to wait for the new year to participate in sports and culture events outside the province due to new travel restrictions.

The restrictions go into effect immediately. They also apply to children travelling into the province. Nova Scotia organizations, businesses and individuals cannot host sporting, arts and cultural events that include children under 11.

The province’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, said children can continue to travel interprovincially for regular practices and lessons because they pose a lower risk of transmission because they are interacting with the same group.

“Having these restrictions in place will allow a greater possibility of kids being able to remain in school and participate in these events in Nova Scotia through December,” Strang said during a teleconference on Wednesday.

Nova Scotia children 11 and under can continue to attend these out of province sporting and cultural events as spectators.

“Being a spectator is very different from going to a tournament or a competition where there’s a lot more interaction, especially between kids this age,” Strang said. “There’s a lot more opportunity for transmission if they are actually participants within these types of activities.”

Strang said this measure will help put another layer of protection on young Nova Scotians while they are getting vaccinated.

Immunization for Nova Scotia children under 11 started Wednesday.

“As of Monday, over 30 per cent of that age cohort had already booked their appointments,” Strang said. “We hope to get as many kids as possible in the five to 11 age group to get their first dose of the vaccine before Christmas.”

Strang said supply won’t be an issue.

Once the holiday season is over the government will look at the vaccine uptake among children under 11 and reassess whether the restrictions need to stay.

“My intent would certainly be to remove this as soon as we safely can after the holiday season,” Strang said.

Strang said the restrictions are not part of the province’s response to the new omicron COVID-19 variant. He said they were put in place due to the current situation with the delta COVID-19 variant.

Nova Scotia reported 35 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

There are 16 cases in the northern zone, 16 in the central zone and three in the western zone.  There is a cluster of cases in a localized community in the northern zone.

There are 203 known active cases in the province. Fifteen people are in the hospital, including eight people in intensive care.

Will McLernon

Will McLernon is a journalist with The Signal. He is currently finishing up his Bachelor of Journalism (Honours) degree with a minor in International Development at the University of King's College.

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