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Nova Scotia said Friday it will begin easing some COVID-19 restrictions because case numbers in the province remained low.

Health officials reported zero new cases and said the province had eight active reported infections.

Premier Stephen McNeil said beginning Monday and until March 7, gathering limits will be increased to 150 people outdoors and to 50 per cent of an indoor venue’s capacity, to a maximum of 100 people. As well, retail and fitness businesses will be able to welcome up to 75 per cent of their legal client capacity.

“This is a test for all of us,” McNeil told reporters. “We’re keeping our cases down, but the moment we see a shift or a surge in the number of cases we will not hesitate to bring back restrictions. It really is up to all of us.”

Spectators will be allowed back at sporting events and entertainment venues, except when the events are held at schools.

Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, said while the move to ease restrictions is based on the province’s epidemiology, now is not the time to be complacent. “We have maintained a slow and cautious approach and will continue to do so in order to protect us all, Strang said.

Health officials said as of Thursday, 17,295 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in Nova Scotia, including 4,681 second doses.

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