We have received an update from Public Health and Sport Nova Scotia regarding Friday’s announcement and what it means for athletes, coaches, and officials who live in the restricted areas of HRM and surrounding communities.
The following is from Sport Nova Scotia via Public Health:
Nova Scotians are to avoid all non-essential travel to and from the restricted areas of the Halifax Regional Municipality, up to and including Porters Lake and the communities of Enfield, Elmsdale, Mount Uniacke and Hubbards. Please note that sport is not considered essential and travel in and out of the restricted areas is not permitted. These restrictions include those who would regularly travel to train.
Friday’s announcement was more vague than some previous announcements. With the goal of trying to keep as many players as possible playing safely, we tried to seek clarity on this issue and were advised that players would be permitted to travel in and out of the restricted area to participate with their teams. We have since received information from Public Health that has contradicted that interpretation.
Here is what this new information means for hockey:
Unfortunately, this means that players living in the restricted zone outlined on Friday but playing with teams outside of that area will not be permitted to participate with their teams while these restrictions are in affect. These players are not permitted to travel in and out of the restricted area for sport. The same applies to those who live outside the restricted area but play on teams within the restricted area.
For example, players who live in the restricted area of Mount Uniacke are not permitted to participate with the West Hants Minor Hockey Association while these restrictions are in affect. Players who live in the Annapolis Valley but play on a team in HRM are also not permitted to travel to HRM to play with their team and vice versa.
FOR OFFICIALS AND COACHES
If officiating or coaching is an individual’s primary source of income, these individuals are permitted to go in and out of the restricted zone.
However, if they do not depend on that income, travel is not considered essential and they are therefore not permitted to travel in and out of the area to officiate or coach.
We wanted to clarify that teams based outside of the restricted zone (ex: a MHL team, or provincial league teams in N.S.) are permitted to travel through the restricted zone to get to a game on the other side. However, they cannot stop in the restricted zone for any reason.
We understand that this will be very disappointing news for our members who are affected by this latest update. However, we are hopeful that it will only be temporary. If our case numbers remain low, there is a possibility that these restrictions could be easeed early and ahead of schedule.
We will continue to work with Public Health, Sport Nova Scotia, and the province to get all of our teams back in game action as soon as it is safe to do so.