1. Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  2. Restrictions and guidance
  3. Nova Scotia COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Nova Scotia COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination

You need proof of full vaccination to participate in most events and activities if you’re 12 and older.

As part of the proof of full vaccination protocol, you need proof that you're fully vaccinated to participate in discretionary, non-essential events and activities that gather people together (like going to restaurants, movies, sports events, theatre performances, social events and the gym). Proof of vaccination isn't required for children 11 and younger (they can attend events and activities with a fully vaccinated adult or on their own).

Protocol: COVID-19 Protocol for Proof of Full Vaccination for Events and Activities (PDF)

Guide: Guide for providing your proof of full vaccination for events and activities (PDF)

Where proof of full vaccination is required

You need proof of full vaccination to go to or participate in discretionary, non-essential events, activities and services that gather people together, including:

  • full-service restaurants where patrons sit at tables to be served, both indoors and on patios
  • food establishments (like fast food and coffee shops) where people sit to eat and drink, both indoors and on patios (not including food courts, takeout, drive-thru or delivery)
  • liquor licensed (drinking) establishments (like bars, wineries, distillery tasting rooms, craft taprooms and liquor manufacturers), both indoors and on patios
  • casinos and gaming establishments, both indoors and on patios
  • fitness establishments (like gyms and yoga studios) and sport and recreation facilities (like arenas, pools and large multipurpose recreation facilities)
  • businesses and organizations offering indoor and outdoor recreation and leisure activities (like climbing facilities, dance classes, escape rooms, go-carts, indoor arcades, indoor play spaces, music lessons, pottery painting, shooting ranges, holiday craft markets and outdoor adventure)
  • indoor and outdoor festivals, special events and arts and culture events (like theatre performances, concerts and movie theatres), unless they're outdoor events held in a public space with no specific entry point (like Nocturne)
  • indoor and outdoor sports practices, games, competitions and tournaments (participants and spectators)
  • indoor and outdoor extracurricular school-based activities, including sports
  • bus, boat and walking tours
  • museums, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and public library programs
  • indoor and outdoor events and activities like receptions, social events, conferences and training that are hosted by a business or organization
  • indoor and outdoor wedding ceremonies and funerals (including receptions and visitation) that are hosted by a business or organization
  • community meetings in rental spaces or where the public may be present (like annual general meetings of businesses or organizations)
  • training hosted by a business or organization (like driver training or courses offered by a business that provides training) and any training using a rental space
  • activities and events hosted by a faith organization (not including regular faith services) like social time after a service, bible study, youth group, retreats, community meals, fundraisers or meetings, holiday concerts and special events, or activities and events held in rental spaces

Proof of vaccination isn't required under the protocol for the staff of businesses and organizations that offer the events and activities. Proof of vaccination is required for volunteers who host, lead or organize the events and activities.

Where proof of full vaccination isn’t required

Proof of full vaccination isn't required for most places that don't host formal gatherings and places that offer essential, non-discretionary services and activities, including:

  • retail stores
  • markets (like farm markets) that have regular hours every day or week, the majority of their vendors are always the same, and the market serves as their retail outlet (does not include holiday craft markets)
  • financial institutions
  • professional services like accountants and lawyers
  • personal services like hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons and body art establishments
  • healthcare services and health professions like doctor's offices, dental care, massage therapy and physiotherapy
  • rental accommodations like hotel rooms, cottages and campgrounds
  • regular faith services (like daily or weekly services, or services that are part of your faith’s annual calendar like Christmas and Easter services)
  • pre-primary to grade 12 school-based activities and field trips that take place during the school day (unless a field trip is for an event or activity where proof of full vaccination is required), before and after school programs and school buses
  • post-secondary institutions (universities, NSCC, private career colleges and language schools) unless they're hosting events or activities that the public attend
  • mental health and addictions support groups
  • business meetings and other activities in the workplace that involve people who regularly work together and where the public isn't present (unless it's in a rented space)
  • legislatively required meetings where public participation can't be done virtually (like municipal council meetings where citizens have a democratic right to participate)
  • safety training that's required for a person's job and can't be done virtually
  • places where government services are offered (like Access Nova Scotia)
  • food banks, shelters and meal programs for vulnerable populations
  • family resource centres and adult day programs for seniors and people with disabilities
  • programs and services for vulnerable populations that can't be offered virtually
  • informal gatherings at a private residence
  • general access to public libraries (like borrowing books and using computers)
  • public transportation
  • indoor and outdoor funeral services with a maximum of 25 participants (not including person conducting the ceremony and funeral home staff); masks are required and receptions and visitation are not permitted

Children and youth

Children who turn 12 between 1 January and 4 October 2021 have until 31 December 2021 to attend events and activities while they get vaccinated. Children who turn 12 after 4 October 2021 have 3 months from their birthday to get vaccinated.

Businesses and organizations

Vaccination policies

Businesses and organizations can set their own vaccination policies if proof of vaccination isn’t required under the proof of full vaccination protocol and for their employees. People who are not fully vaccinated need to be able to access essential services. Policies should take legal and ethical implications into consideration.

Verifying proof of vaccination

Businesses and organizations have 2 options to verify proof of vaccination. They can scan the QR code on the Nova Scotia COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination using VaxCheckNS. Or they can verify proof of vaccination visually.

After verifying proof of vaccination, they must also review additional identification to confirm your identity. Accepted identification includes:

  • birth certificate
  • driver’s licence
  • government-issued identification (ID) card
  • Health Card
  • passport
  • Secure Certificate of Indian Status
  • student identification (ID) card

You can use the original version of your identification (card, paper or digital). You can also use a clear photocopy, photo or screenshot.

Guide: Proof of full vaccination guide for businesses and organizations (PDF)

Poster: Proof of vaccination not required for takeout poster (PDF)

Poster: Proof of vaccination required poster (PDF)

Your Nova Scotia COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination

If you get a COVID-19 vaccine in Nova Scotia, your Nova Scotia COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination includes the date, time, location, type, brand and lot number of COVID-19 vaccine you received. Within the province, you can use your Nova Scotia COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination to show proof of vaccination. Learn more: proof of vaccination.

Out-of-province proof of vaccination

If you’re not a permanent resident of Nova Scotia, you can use your vaccination record from your home province, territory or country to show proof of vaccination.

If you receive at least 1 dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the province, you can have your out-of-province vaccinations included on your Nova Scotia COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination. Learn more: out-of-province vaccine.

Medical exceptions

To request a medical exception for proof of full vaccination, you need to have a valid medical reason that prevents you from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.