Coronavirus (COVID-19): compassionate exceptions

What to do if you need to request a compassionate exception to enter Nova Scotia and the self-isolation requirement. There are 3 types of compassionate exceptions – end of life visits, attending a funeral or service (like a burial or celebration of life) and taking an exam.

Exception for end-of-life visit

People who are fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arriving in Nova Scotia don’t need a compassionate exception for an end-of-life visit.

People from outside Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador can request a compassionate exception to enter Nova Scotia and the self-isolation requirement for visiting an immediate family member who is nearing end of life. Exceptions will be limited.

If you're granted an exception, you'll be allowed to do that specific activity, but you must self-isolate for the period of time you're in the province (at least 7 days) other than when you're visiting the immediate family member. Even if you have an exception, you still need to follow social distancing guidelines. You need to watch for COVID-19 symptoms closely, and self-isolate if you start to feel sick.

Send your compassionate exception request to and include the following travel details:

  • name of travellers
  • purpose of travel
  • confirmation that the need to travel is urgent
  • where you're travelling from and how you'll get to Nova Scotia
  • where you plan to stay in Nova Scotia
  • any travel within the 2-week period before you visit Nova Scotia
  • any known exposure to COVID-19 for all travellers
  • your plan for self-isolation during your stay, including details about how food and supplies will be delivered, how you'll maintain a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others where you're staying (if applicable) and how you'll follow public health measures and guidelines
  • written confirmation (or email) from your immediate family member's care team that your family member is near end-of-life and that you have been given permission to visit, if applicable
  • name of the facility where you'll be visiting your immediate family member, if applicable
  • confirmation that your relative's home care provider is aware that you'll be visiting your family member from outside of Nova Scotia, if applicable

If you request a compassionate exception, you don't need a complete the Safe Check-in Form. If you don’t need a compassionate exception and are allowed to travel into Nova Scotia you need to complete the Safe Check-in Form.

Exception for attending a funeral or service

People who are fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arriving in Nova Scotia don’t need a compassionate exception to attend a funeral.

People from outside Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador can request a compassionate exception to enter Nova Scotia and the self-isolation requirement for attending a funeral or service (like a burial or celebration of life) for an immediate family member. Exceptions are not granted to attend public visitations. Exceptions will be limited.

If you're granted an exception, you'll be allowed to do that specific activity, but you must self-isolate for the period of time you're in the province (at least 7 days) other than when you're attending the service. Even if you have an exception, you still need to follow social distancing guidelines. You need to watch for COVID-19 symptoms closely, and self-isolate if you start to feel sick.

Send your compassionate exception request to and include the following travel details:

  • name of travellers
  • purpose of travel
  • confirmation that the need to travel is urgent
  • where you're travelling from and how you'll get to Nova Scotia
  • where you plan to stay in Nova Scotia
  • any travel within the 2-week period before you visit Nova Scotia
  • any known exposure to COVID-19 for all travellers
  • your plan for self-isolation during your stay, including details about how food and supplies will be delivered, how you'll maintain a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others where you're staying (if applicable) and how you'll follow public health measures and guidelines
  • written confirmation that the funeral is for an immediate family member (you need an obituary or funeral announcement or a letter from the funeral home confirming date of service and your relationship to deceased)
  • details about the service (for example, how many people are expected to attend, if the service is open to the public or invitation only)

If you request a compassionate exception, you don't need a complete the Safe Check-in Form. If you don’t need a compassionate exception and are allowed to travel into Nova Scotia you need to complete the Safe Check-in Form.

Exception for writing an exam in Nova Scotia

People who are fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arriving in Nova Scotia don’t need a compassionate exception to write an exam.

People from outside Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador can only request a compassionate exception to enter Nova Scotia to write a professional exam if the exam can’t be:

  • deferred
  • completed virtually

Send your compassionate exception request to and include the following travel details:

  • name of travellers
  • purpose of travel
  • confirmation that the need to travel is urgent
  • where you're travelling from and how you'll get to Nova Scotia
  • where you plan to stay in Nova Scotia
  • any travel within the 2-week period before you visit Nova Scotia
  • any known exposure to COVID-19 for all travellers
  • your plan for self-isolation during your stay, including details about how food and supplies will be delivered, how you'll maintain a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others where you're staying (if applicable) and how you'll follow public health measures and guidelines

If you're granted an exception, you'll be allowed to write the exam in Nova Scotia, but you must self-isolate for the period of time you're in the province (at least 7 days) other than when you're writing the exam. Even if you have an exception, you still need to follow social distancing guidelines. You need to watch for COVID-19 symptoms closely, and self-isolate if you start to feel sick.