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

Coronavirus (COVID-19): education and childcare

Guidance for childcare, public schools and post-secondary education during COVID-19.

Post-secondary education

Every post-secondary student travelling into Nova Scotia needs to apply to travel to Nova Scotia by completing the Safe Check-in Form before they travel to the province. They need to wait for approval before traveling. When they arrive in Nova Scotia, students must self-isolate for 14 days. Parents from outside Nova Scotia are not allowed drop off or pick up students.

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 need to wear a non-medical 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.

Once students are in the province, they need to complete a digital check in each day of their self-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 should get tested for COVID-19 on day 1 or 2 of their self-isolation and again on day 12, 13 or 14, even if they don’t have symptoms. Students need to book a COVID-19 test to get tested.

If any student is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms they need to book a COVID-19 test. Students can call 811 if they’re unable to book a test 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.

Travelling outside Nova Scotia

If students travel outside Nova Scotia 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

The Back to School Plan provides 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.

COVID-19 cases and school closures

If a confirmed case of COVID-19 is identified in a school or a school needs to close or change curriculum delivery to at-home learning or blended and partial in-school learning, the Regional Centre for Education or Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP) notifies parents, students and staff.

Graduation ceremonies and community celebrations

Secondary schools will end a week early this year to allow schools enough time for graduation events to take place. Final exams will begin the week of 14 June 2021 (not 21 June as originally planned). The last day of school for secondary students will be 11 June 2021. Families will be contacted by their school with more details.

School-based graduation events are separate from any other celebrations (like proms) that are held in the community. Community celebrations need to follow gathering limits and public health measures in place at the time of the event.

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.

COVID-19 cases and school closures

If a confirmed case of COVID-19 is identified in a school or a school needs to close or change curriculum delivery to at-home learning or blended and partial in-school learning, the Regional Centre for Education or Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP) notifies parents, students and staff.

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 prevent the spread of COVID-19.