1. Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  2. Education and childcare

Coronavirus (COVID-19): education and childcare

Information about public schools and childcare during COVID-19.

Post-secondary education

Every post-secondary student travelling into Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada needs to complete a Nova Scotia Safe Check-in Form (self-declaration) before they travel to the province. When they arrive in Nova Scotia, students must self-isolate for 14 days.

Students should avoid taking public transportation (like a taxi, bus or shuttle) if possible. If students do need to take public transportation to get to the place they’ll be self-isolating, they should wear a mask and keep a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others, as much as they can. Students should only take public transportation if they don't have COVID-19 symptoms.

You can drop off students at the place they’ll be self-isolating. If you’re dropping off a student on campus, make sure to follow the school’s drop-off process. Individuals dropping off students must self-isolate for the period of time they’re in the province other than when they’re doing the drop off and follow social distancing guidelines and public health measures.

Once students are in the province, they need to complete a digital check in each day of their isolation period. If you don’t check in daily, the school will be notified and they’ll try to help you comply with the check in.

Learn more: how to self-isolate.

Testing requirements for students

Students who arrive in Nova Scotia don’t need to be tested for COVID-19 if they don’t have symptoms. If any student is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms they need to complete a COVID-19 Self-assessment. Students can call 811 for assessment if they’re unable to complete the COVID-19 Self-assessment online (or to speak with a nurse).

Students need to self-isolate for the full 14 days, even with negative test results. Students can’t attend in-person classes until their self-isolation is complete and they receive negative test results, if testing was required.

Students travelling into Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada to attend private career colleges don’t need to be tested for COVID-19. When they arrive in Nova Scotia, they must self-isolate for 14 days.

Travelling outside Atlantic Canada

If students travel outside Atlantic Canada (for example, for Thanksgiving) they must self-isolate for 14 days from the day they get back to Nova Scotia, even if they don't have symptoms.

COVID-19 prevention plans

Universities and NSCC have COVID-19 prevention plans to help protect students and employees from COVID-19. Plans were approved by the chief medical officer of health and the Department of Labour and Advanced Education. To learn what universities and NSCC are doing to keep everyone safe, visit their website:

If you have questions about the COVID-19 prevention plans to help protect students and employees from COVID-19 at private career colleges, you can contact the college to learn what they’re doing to keep everyone safe.

Public schools

Back to school plan

All students in public schools will start back to school in September 2020 with full-time, in-school learning.

A Back to School Plan has been developed to provide guidelines for Nova Scotia's public education system during the 2020 to 2021 school year.

The plan was created with direction from Public Health, IWK Health Centre and the Provincial Pediatric Advisory Group. Feedback was also provided by teachers, union and education partners and survey responses from more than 28,000 families and students about at-home learning during the pandemic. Learn more: overview of the Back to School Plan and resources for families.

Pre-primary program

The Pre-primary Program follow the Nova Scotia’s Back to School Plan and Public Health Guidance for Schools. Learn what to expect and what you need to know as your child starts pre-primary.

Licensed childcare

Public Health has developed COVID-19 guidelines for childcare settings. All facilities and providers need to use these guidelines to develop and follow their own site-specific plan to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Families won't be required to pay fees if they can't access their childcare space or if they are not ready to return. Families are encouraged to talk to their providers about when they plan to re-enroll their children.

Government will give operators funding on a sliding scale to cover unused spaces until September 2020, as they increase their capacity from 50%.