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Strang says physically distanced dance floors are the new norm

But the top doc doesn’t have any COVID-friendly dance move recommendations.

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Phase 4 of COVID reopening loosens rules on gathering in over a dozen different sectors. But one that has stood out to many Nova Scotians is that we now have permission to dance again. You can dance in bars and restaurants, you can dance at weddings and festivals, you can dance for inspiration—as long as you're wearing a mask.

“You need to follow the informal social gathering limit for household members (the people you live with) and close social contacts for dancing together at events, bars and restaurants with social distancing between groups,” say the Phase 4 regulations. “The indoor limit applies to dancing on patios at bars and restaurants.”

From what we remember, pre-pandemic dance floors could get pretty crowded. But at the COVID press briefing Wednesday, the day the province moved into Phase 4, Robert Strang said that going forward the dance area will need to be sectioned off into groups of 25, the current maximum size of a social “bubble” or group that can gather indoors together without distancing.

“They’re indoors so they have to have masks unless they’re actively eating or drinking,” said the province’s chief medical officer of health. But “they can dance together in a group of up to 25.”

While Strang said “my kids would kill me if I tried to even go there” when The Coast asked him to suggest some COVID-friendly dance moves, online ideas include cultural dances from Norway, salsa dancing with bungee cords and various cultural folk dances. At The Coast, we’ve made the most of housebound pandemic time trying to learn the CitiRokk.

Each bar is doing things a little differently, and Strang says although “licensed establishments are going to be watching and trying to enforce [social distancing], at the end of the day we need individuals to follow those rules.”

And Strang always advises if you’re in doubt of whether something is safe or not, err on the side of caution. “We’re still in COVID, we’re not out of the pandemic,” he said. “So even though we’re opening things up, yes night clubs et cetera are open, we really ask Nova Scotians to be aware of the requirements.”

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