Coronavirus (COVID-19): restriction updates

Measures put in place to help contain the spread of COVID-19 are gradually changing. As restrictions change, you need to continue to follow public health directives for gathering and social distancing.

  1. Oct



    1 October 2020

    • Gathering limit increased to 50 people without social distancing for participants in performing arts and sports. Participants in performing arts and sports can gather in groups of up to 50 people without maintaining a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) for practices, competitions, games, rehearsals and artistic performances. This includes players, participants, officials, coaches, instructors, performers, directors, cast, crew and anyone who is required to be on or near a field of play or within a performance space.

      The limit increase also applies to recreational league sports (like adult hockey) and drop-in activities (like open swims and skates). Unorganized or casual games (like pick-up basketball or soccer in the park) must follow the gathering limit with social distancing for sports (spectators and participants) and unorganized physical activity that are not run by a recognized business or organization.

      While masks are not required during physical activity, participants in performing arts and sports are encouraged to wear a mask and keep as much social distancing as possible.

    Sep



    28 September 2020

    • Residents of long-term care facilities can leave the facility to visit with family in their homes. Off-site visits must be pre-arranged with the facility. Overnight visits or visits outside Atlantic Canada are not permitted.

    22 September 2020

    15 September 2020

    • Day programs, supported employment and social enterprise service providers funded through the Department of Community Services’ Disability Support Program can open with an approved plan that meets public health guidelines.

    11 September 2020

    • Long-term care facilities can resume having designated caregivers help residents with specific caregiving tasks like personal care support, mobility or help with eating. Designated caregivers can be family members, spouses, friends or other support people, and they must have an established caregiving relationship with the resident before COVID-19.
  2. Aug



    26 August 2020

    • Indoor visits at long-term care facilities (1 visitor at a time per resident) no longer require residents or their substitute decision makers to identify and designate a limited number of visitors.
    • Residents of long-term care facilities can now leave the facility for medical appointments when accompanied by family members.
    • Community-based adult day programs can resume with an approved plan that meets public health guidelines.
    • Before-school programs and after-school programs can open with up to 15 children in each group without maintaining a physical distance of two metres (6 feet). Different groups of 15 must maintain physical distance. Programs need to follow the Health Protection Act Order and their sector-specific plans. Sector-specific plans should follow guidance from Public Health.

    20 August 2020

  3. Jul



    31 July 2020

    • Wearing a non-medical mask is required in most indoor public places. Children under 2 are exempt, as well as children 2 to 4 when their caregiver can't get them to wear a mask. People with a valid medical reason for not wearing a mask are also exempt. Schools, day cares and day camps continue to follow their sector-specific plans.

    24 July 2020

    22 July 2020

    • Indoor visits can resume at long-term care facilities with 1 visitor at a time per resident (residents or their substitute decision makers can designate up to 3 people as visitors but only 1 may visit at a time). Outdoor visits can have up to 5 visitors per resident. Visits must be scheduled.

      During visits, residents and visitors need to:
    • Residents and staff at long-term care facilities can gather in groups of 10 for dining, recreation and socializing without social distancing. Groups should remain consistent and visitors can't join.
    • Licensed hair salons in long-term care facilities can reopen to serve residents only.
    • Off-site sightseeing bus trips for residents at long-term care facilities can resume for groups of up to 10 people (including residents, staff and driver). Residents and staff need to stay on the bus. Buses need to be thoroughly cleaned before and after each trip.

    3 July 2020

  4. Jun



    26 June 2020

    • Privately operated campgrounds can operate at 100% capacity if they follow the Health Protection Act Order and their sector-specific plan.
    • Public pools can reopen if they follow the Health Protection Act Order and the Nova Scotia Lifesaving Society plan for change rooms and washrooms.

      Public pools must meet all conditions in the Health Protection Act Order, including:
      • maintaining a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) for lane swimming and aquafit classes
      • allowing 1 or more groups of 10 for other activities based on pool size

    • Restaurants can reopen table service (dine-in) if they follow the Health Protection Act Order and their sector-specific plan. Restaurants can continue to offer take-out and delivery service. See the sector-specific plan for the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia.

      Restaurants must meet all conditions in the Health Protection Act Order, including:

      • maintaining a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) or a physical barrier between tables, booths and single seats
      • not exceeding 100% of the restaurant's capacity
      • not permitting any single group within the restaurant to exceed 10 people
      • stopping service by midnight
      • ensuring patrons remain seated at their table, except while waiting to be seated, going to the bathroom and getting ready to leave
      • closing by 1am

    • Liquor licensed (drinking) establishments (like bars, wineries, distillery tasting rooms and craft taprooms) can reopen if they follow the Health Protection Act Order and their sector-specific plan.

      Liquor licensed (drinking) establishments must meet all conditions in the Health Protection Act Order, including:
      • maintaining a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) or a physical barrier between tables, booths and single seats
      • not exceeding 100% of the establishment's capacity
      • not permitting any single group within the establishment to exceed 10 people
      • providing food and alcohol for in-seat service only, delivered to the table by staff, and ensuring food and alcohol is kept at the table
      • ensuring patrons comply with physical distancing requirements
      • ensuring patrons remain seated at their table, except while waiting to be seated, going to the bathroom and getting ready to leave
      • stopping service by midnight
      • closing by 1am

    18 June 2020

    15 June 2020

    • Provincial campgrounds open at a reduced capacity.
    • Family daycare homes under a family home daycare agency (licensed childcare providers) can reopen if they follow the Health Protection Act Order and their sector-specific plan. The sector-specific plan should follow guidance from Public Health.
    • Daycare facilities (licensed daycare facilities) can reopen if they follow the Health Protection Act Order and their sector-specific plan. The sector-specific plan should follow guidance from Public Health.
    • Outdoor visits can resume at long-term care facilities if visitors stay two metres (6 feet) away from residents and staff.

    12 June 2020

    • Summer day camps can open with up to 10 people in each individual camp group within the summer day camp if they follow the Health Protection Act Order and their sector-specific plans. Sector-specific plans should follow guidance from Public Health.

    5 June 2020

    • Casino Nova Scotia (Halifax and Sydney) can reopen if they follow the Health Protection Act Order and their sector-specific plan.
    • Business owners can operate video lottery terminals (VLTs) if they follow the Health Protection Act Order and their sector-specific plan.
    • Restaurants can reopen for table service (dine-in) if they follow the Health Protection Act Order and their sector-specific plan.
    • Liquor licensed (drinking) establishments (like bars, wineries, distillery tasting rooms and craft taprooms) can reopen if they follow the Health Protection Act Order and their sector-specific plan.
    • Personal services (like hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons and body art establishments) can reopen if they follow the Health Protection Act Order and their sector-specific plans.
    • Fitness establishments (like gyms, yoga studios and climbing facilities) can reopen if they follow the Health Protection Act Order and their sector-specific plans.
    • Self-regulated health professions can provide in-person or virtual care services if they follow the Health Protection Act Order and their sector-specific plans.
    • Unregulated (non-regulated) health professions can provide in-person or virtual care services if they follow the Health Protection Act Order and their sector-specific plans.
    • Veterinarians can reopen for in-person care to animals if they follow the Health Protection Act Order and their sector-specific plan.
    • Privately operated campgrounds can open for all types of campers if they follow the Health Protection Act Order and their sector-specific plan.
    • Outdoor community celebration of graduates are allowed in June 2020 if they follow the Health Protection Act Order and meet all required conditions.
  5. May



    29 May 2020

    • Gathering limit is no more than 10 people.
    • Gathering limit for weddings and funerals is no more than 10 people indoors or 15 people outdoors (excluding the person conducting the ceremony).
    • Privately operated campgrounds can open for seasonal lot renters (renters with fixed RVs) and temporary campers.
    • Sport training is permitted.
    • Pools can begin maintenance work to prepare for the season.
    • Overnight summer camps are cancelled for 2020.

    16 May 2020

    • Golf courses can reopen.
    • Provincial and municipal beaches can reopen.
    • Outdoor sports facilities for archery, equestrian, golf, paddling, sailing, boating and tennis are permitted to open (no organized sports, classes, lessons, coaching, competitions, tournaments or practices at facilities).
    • Sportfishing from provincial and municipal beaches is permitted.
    • social gatherings outside your family household bubble are permitted (you need to follow social distancing guidelines and gathering restrictions).

    15 May 2020

    • Family household bubbles are permitted and exempt from the gathering limit and social distancing.

    1 May 2020

    • Provincial and municipal parks can reopen.
    • Trails can reopen.
    • Community gardens can reopen.
    • Private campgrounds can open for seasonal lot renters (renters with fixed RVs) that don't require the use of onsite amenities like washroom facilities, store, restaurant, activity center, playground and picnic tables.
    • Sportfishing from shore or boat is permitted.
    • Residents can use their cottages, with their family or household unit.
    • Sailing and boating clubs can open to allow people to prepare their boats for the season (food service in marinas is limited to takeout).
    • Golf courses can begin maintenance work to prepare for the season.
    • Golf driving ranges can reopen, including those on golf courses.
    • Drive-in religious services are allowed.
    • Garden centres, nurseries and similar businesses can open.
    • School grounds and sports fields can reopen (children's playgrounds remain closed).