COVID-19: N.S. announces measures to help businesses, seniors, vulnerable citizens

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil announces new measures to help citizens affected by COVID-19 during a news conference in Halifax on March 27, 2020.

The Nova Scotia government has announced new measures to help businesses, seniors and vulnerable citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following measures were announced Friday:

 

Businesses

  • Retail and commercial landlords are encouraged to defer lease payments for the next three months for businesses forced to close due to the public health order.
  • Landlords that grant such businesses a three-month deferral and register by April 3 will be able to claim losses of up to $5,000 per month, if the renting business does not continue operating.
  • Landlords are not permitted to change locks or seize the property of businesses that cannot pay rent, if the business closed due to the COVID-19 public health orders.

Restaurants

  • Restaurants will be allowed to include alcoholic beverages with takeout and delivery orders, as long as the alcohol cost is not more than three times the value of food ordered.
  • This is effective as of March 30.

Veterinarians

  • An amendment to Dr. Robert Strang's health protection order allows veterinarians to provide virtual care, prescription refills and in-patient urgent or emergency services.

iPads and phones to help citizens connect.

  • 800 iPads will be distributed to long-term care homes across the province so residents can connect with family and friends.
  • The tablets will start arriving at facilities in April.
  • 100 phones and calling plans will be provided for vulnerable clients of the Department of Community Services, who have no other means of communication and who may be self-isolated and alone.

Women, children and vulnerable Nova Scotians

  • $200,000 to support transition houses and other organizations that serve vulnerable women and children.
  • $55,000 to support 12 smaller community food banks.
  • The hours of the toll-free line for income assistance supports will be extended, including weekends.

The province announced 17 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total number of cases in Nova Scotia to 90.

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