1. Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  2. Restrictions and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): restrictions and guidance

Public health measures that everyone in Nova Scotia needs to follow to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Self-isolation requirements

You’re legally required to self-isolate for 14 days or as directed by Public Health if you:

  • have COVID-19 symptoms and are waiting to be tested and get your test results
  • were at a potential exposure site and Public Health advises that you need to self-isolate while you’re waiting to be tested and for your test results
  • have been tested for COVID-19 and have been told by Public Health that you need to self-isolate while you’re waiting to get your test results
  • have tested positive for COVID-19
  • have been told by Public Health that you’re a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case or may have been exposed to COVID-19 and need to self-isolate, even if you don’t have symptoms
  • have travelled from outside Nova Scotia even if you don't have symptoms
  • are sharing any living spaces with someone who has travelled outside Nova Scotia for non-essential travel (everyone in the home where the traveller is self-isolating needs to self-isolate)

How long you need to self-isolate

If you’re legally required to self-isolate (including after travel), you need to self-isolate for the full 14 days or as directed by Public Health, even if you’ve tested negative for COVID-19 or get the vaccine.

Child custody protocol and self-isolation

Individuals travelling for child custody reasons, including dropping off, picking up or visiting, need to follow the COVID-19 Child Custody Protocol (PDF) when entering Nova Scotia. They need to apply to travel to Nova Scotia by completing the Safe Check-in Form before they travel to the province. They also may need to self-isolate for the period of time they’re in the province (up to 14 days), depending on their situation.

They also need to follow public health measures while they're in Nova Scotia and follow the COVID-19 Child Custody Protocol (PDF) when a parent or child has COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive for COVD-19.

Military, defence and police

Canadian Military and Defence Team, Coast Guard, RCMP, Canadian Border Services Agency and Canadian Security Intelligence Service personnel and their spouse or partner can enter the province to house hunt, but they must self-isolate for the period of time they’re in the province other than when they’re looking at properties and follow social distancing guidelines. Their families also need to self-isolate once they move to Nova Scotia.

Rotational workers (working outside the province)

Rotational workers (like Alberta oil workers) are individuals who live in Nova Scotia and travel to work on a regular schedule to another Canadian province or territory or travel outside Canada on a regular schedule and are exempt from self-isolation under the federal Quarantine Act. Rotational workers follow the Health Protection Act Order and the COVID-19 Rotational Worker Protocol (PDF).

Before each trip to Nova Scotia, rotational workers need to apply to travel to Nova Scotia by completing the Safe Check-in Form and wait for approval before travelling. During the approval process for your first trip back to Nova Scotia since 14 May 2021, you need to provide documentation showing you work on a rotational schedule and the name and location of your work site. When you arrive in Nova Scotia you need show your approval letter to border officials and any additional required documentation.

Rotational workers may need to self-isolate when they first arrive in Nova Scotia. Starting 8 June 2021, there are different self-isolation requirements for vaccinated and unvaccinated rotational workers returning to Nova Scotia. Rotational workers need to follow self-isolation and testing requirements in the COVID-19 Rotational Worker Protocol (PDF).

All rotational workers are required to get tested for COVID-19 during their first 14 days in Nova Scotia. They need to get tested on day 1 or 2. If they’re still in Nova Scotia, they need to get tested again on day 5 or 6 and on day 12, 13 or 14. Rotational workers who are fully or partially vaccinated still need to complete all required testing.

Outbreak zones

Depending on vaccination status, rotational workers who are returning to Nova Scotia from an outbreak zone need to follow self-isolation requirements specific to their situation. Learn more: COVID-19 Rotational Worker Protocol (PDF).

  • Baffinland Mary River Mine, Nunavut
  • BC Hydro Site C Project, British Columbia
  • Canadian Natural Resources Horizon Oil Sands Site, Alberta
  • Cenovus Christina Lake, Alberta
  • Cenovus Foster Creek, Alberta
  • Cenovus Sunrise Lodge, Alberta
  • Cigar Lake Mine Site, Saskatchewan
  • CIVEO Athabasca Lodge, Alberta
  • CIVEO McClelland Lake Lodge, Alberta
  • CNOOC Long Lake Lodge, Alberta
  • CNRL Albian Oil Sands Site, Alberta
  • CNRL Jackfish, Alberta
  • Energy Transfer Canada Kaybob South 3 Processing Plant, Alberta
  • IAMGOLD Cote Mine Project, Gogama, Ontario
  • Imperial Oil, Cold Lake, Alberta
  • IOL Kearl Wapasu Oil Sands Site, Alberta
  • MEG Energy, Alberta
  • Oilsands Industrial Lodge, Alberta
  • RCCC West Kakwa Lodge, Alberta
  • Royal Camp Services, Grand Prairie, Alberta
  • Suncor Base Plant, Alberta
  • Suncor Firebag, Alberta
  • Suncor Fort Hills, Alberta
  • Suncor MacKay River, Alberta
  • Syncrude Aurora, Alberta
  • Syncrude Mildred Lake Oil Sands Site, Alberta
  • Tamarack Valley Energy Drilling Rig Nipisi, Alberta
  • Wapasu Creek Lodge, Alberta

Modified self-isolation

During modified self-isolation, rotational workers can:

  • interact with people who live in their household, including children under a joint custody order or agreement who visit or live part-time in the household, without physical distancing, unless rotational workers become unwell (household members don’t need to self-isolate unless they become unwell)
  • spend time outside on their own property
  • go for a drive
  • go for a walk, run, hike, bike or ATV ride off their property (if they encounter people from outside their household they must wear a mask and maintain a distance of 2 metres)
  • visit a park, beach, or other outdoor public space (if they encounter people from outside their household they must wear a mask and maintain a distance of 2 metres)
  • spend time at their cabin or vacation home (or a rental location) in Nova Scotia, following the same rules they would at home
  • drop off and pick up household members at school, work or recreational activities without getting out of their vehicle
  • use no-contact pickup options for groceries or other items purchased online without getting out of their vehicle
  • visit a drive-in theatre without getting out of their vehicle
  • go through a drive-through, like at a restaurant or bank
  • attend necessary (urgent and routine) medical appointments – this includes appointments with physicians and nurse practitioners, dentists, optometrists and other regulated health professionals where in-person treatment is required and getting a COVID-19 vaccine

In the 14 days after they arrive in Nova Scotia, rotational workers can't:

  • enter public places (like schools, grocery stores, shopping malls, banks, religious institutions, restaurants and bars)
  • attend indoor or outdoor gatherings
  • visit people from outside their household
  • let people from outside their household visit them on their property or in their home
  • volunteer or work in any way that puts them in contact with people outside their household

If a rotational worker or someone living in the household travels outside Nova Scotia for non-essential travel, everyone in the household needs to self-isolate for 14 days, unless there’s a separate space where the traveller can self-isolate alone.

International rotational workers

International workers entering Canada who are required to isolate under the federal Quarantine Act, including rotational workers who live in Nova Scotia and travel to work in another country on a regular schedule, must follow federal isolation and testing requirements in the Quarantine Act. They don’t follow the COVID-19 Rotational Worker Protocol.

Exemptions from self-isolation

Some people are exempt from the self-isolation requirement. Most exempt travellers need to follow the COVID-19 Exempt traveller Protocol (PDF 165 kB) when entering Nova Scotia. You also need to apply to travel to Nova Scotia by completing the Safe Check-in Form before you travel to the province.

If you travel for personal reasons (like vacation or visiting), you’re not exempt and must self-isolate for 14 days when you arrive in Nova Scotia. If you or someone living in the household travels for non-essential travel, everyone in the household needs to self-isolate for 14 days, unless there is a separate space where the traveller can self-isolate alone.

Even if you’re exempt, you need to follow public health measures while you’re in Nova Scotia, including following social distancing guidelines, watching for symptoms and self-isolating if you start to feel sick.

People who are exempt from the self-isolation requirement include:

  • visiting or leaving Nova Scotia to drop off or pick-up children under a joint custody order or agreement if both the children and the person bringing them don’t have COVID-19 symptoms if they follow the COVID-19 Child Custody Protocol (PDF)
  • people who need to travel between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island for work, school, childcare or essential veterinary services if they follow the Health Protection Act Order and the COVID-19 Nova Scotia-New Brunswick-Prince Edward Island Travel Protocol (PDF 249 kB)
  • people visiting or leaving Nova Scotia for essential health services, plus support people travelling with them; they need to follow the COVID-19 Exempt traveller Protocol (PDF)
  • people participating in a legal proceeding in Nova Scotia (including the accused, victim, witness, lawyer or party in the proceeding); they need to follow the COVID-19 Exempt traveller Protocol (PDF)
  • workers who are essential to the movement of people and goods, and who must enter Nova Scotia as part of their work duties or training required for their jobs (not for personal reasons or other types of work); they need to follow the COVID-19 Exempt traveller Protocol (PDF)
    • trade and transportation workers who are employed in the movement of goods or people across the Nova Scotia border, including truck drivers, crew, maintenance and operational workers on any plane, train or ship
    • airline crew who live in Nova Scotia and are required to deadhead as part of their work duties (flying as a passenger on one flight to work as crew on another flight)
    • Canadian Armed Forces and Canadian Defence Team personnel, Coast Guard, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canadian Border Services Agency and Canadian Security Intelligence Service
    • first responders, including police, fire, Emergency Health Services (EHS) paramedic workers and essential healthcare workers
    • essential healthcare workers who travel to and from Nova Scotia and another province or territory to carry out their work duties on an ongoing regular basis

Compassionate exceptions

People from outside Nova Scotia can 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.

Specialized worker exceptions from self-isolation

Workers from another Canadian province or territory and workers from outside Canada who are exempt from self-isolation under the federal Quarantine Act can receive an exception to the self-isolation requirement when work can’t be done by workers within the province for:

  • urgent work on critical infrastructure that’s crucial for the province to function
  • urgent work that’s necessary to preserve the viability of 1 or more Nova Scotia businesses

Specialized workers are allowed to work and travel to and from the workplace, but must self-isolate for the period of time they’re in the province (up to 14 days) other than when they’re working. Specialized workers need to follow the Health Protection Act Order and the COVID-19 Specialized Worker Protocol (PDF).

Before each trip to Nova Scotia, specialized workers from outside Nova Scotia need to apply to travel to Nova Scotia by completing the Safe Check-in Form and wait for approval before travelling.

When you arrive in Nova Scotia you need show your approval letter to border officials and any additional required documentation.

Specialized workers who don’t have symptoms are required to get tested for COVID-19 during their modified self-isolation. They need to get tested on day 1 or 2. If they’re still in Nova Scotia, they need to get tested again on day 6, 7 or 8 and day 12, 13 or 14. Specialized workers also need to self-isolate for the full 14 days other than when they’re working, even with negative test results.

International workers entering Canada who are required to isolate under the federal Quarantine Act must follow federal isolation and testing requirements in the Quarantine Act. They do not follow the COVID-19 Specialized Worker Protocol.

Businesses

Businesses located in Nova Scotia that have more than 10 specialized workers entering Nova Scotia within a 1-month period, need to provide details about their Workplace COVID-19 Prevention plan to before specialized workers travel to the province.

Fish harvester exceptions from self-isolation

Fish harvesters from another Canadian province or territory can receive an exception to the self-isolation requirement to carry out the commercial (not recreational) or licensed activity of catching fish and other seafood for market or other approved activities.

Fish harvesters are allowed to work and travel to and from the workplace, but must self-isolate for the period of time they’re in the province (up to 14 days) other than when they’re working. Specialized workers need to follow the Health Protection Act Order and the COVID-19 Fish Harvester Protocol (PDF 85 kB).

Before each trip to Nova Scotia, fish harvesters from outside Nova Scotia need to apply to travel to Nova Scotia by completing the Safe Check-in Form and wait for approval before travelling.

When you arrive in Nova Scotia you need show your approval letter to border officials and any additional required documentation.

Fish harvesters who don’t have symptoms should get tested for COVID-19 during their modified self-isolation. They should try get tested on day 1 or 2. If they’re still in Nova Scotia, they should try to get tested again on day 6, 7 or 8 and day 12, 13 or 14. Fish harvesters need to self-isolate for the full 14 days other than when they’re working, even with negative test results.

International workers entering Canada who are required to isolate under the federal Quarantine Act must follow federal isolation and testing requirements in the Quarantine Act. They do not follow the COVID-19 Fish Harvester Protocol.

Gathering limits

You need to follow gathering limits, unless your group has an exemption identified in the Health Protection Act Order (PDF).

The following gathering limits are in place:

  • Festivals, special events and arts and culture events (like performances) - 25% of the venue’s capacity up to 50 people indoors and up to 75 people outdoors with social distancing when hosted by a business or organization. Organizers must have a COVID-19 Prevention Plan (plans will be reviewed by Government of Nova Scotia for large venues).
  • Informal social gathering limit indoors is up to 10 people (household members and visitors) without social distancing and masks.
  • Informal social gathering limit outdoors is up to 25 people without social distancing and masks.
  • Performing arts – Professional performing arts rehearsals and virtual or in-person performances can have up to 15 people indoors and up to 25 people outdoors without social distancing. Wearing a mask is required indoors when you can’t maintain a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others (except during activities that are not possible while wearing a mask). Wearing a mask is recommended outdoors when you can’t maintain a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others.

    Spectators are permitted (indoor and outdoor) for performing arts hosted by a business or organization that have an Event Plan. Spectators are included in event gathering limits and need to follow social distancing guidelines.
  • Performing arts – Amateur performing arts rehearsals and virtual or in-person performances can have up to 10 indoors and up to 25 people outdoors without social distancing. Wearing a mask is recommended when you can’t maintain a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others.

    Spectators are permitted (indoor and outdoor) for performing arts hosted by a business or organization that have an Event Plan. Spectators are included in event gathering limits and need to follow social distancing guidelines.
  • Sports – Players, participants and officials in organized sports (recreational, amateur and professional) can practice and train with up to 10 people indoors and up to 25 people outdoors without social distancing. Wearing a mask is recommended when you can’t maintain a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others. Games, competitions and tournaments and tournaments are not permitted.

    Spectators are permitted (indoor and outdoor) for sports hosted by a business or organization that have an Event Plan. Spectators are included in event gathering limits and need to follow social distancing guidelines.
  • Drive-in faith services have no limit on the number of vehicles. You need to follow the informal indoor social gathering limit in your vehicle.
  • Faith gatherings hosted by a business or organization - 25% of the venue’s capacity up to 50 people indoors or 75 people outdoors with social distancing.
  • Informal faith gatherings can have up to 10 people plus the person conducting the ceremony indoors and up to 25 people plus the person conducting the ceremony outdoors without social distancing.
  • Informal wedding ceremonies and funerals can have up to 10 people plus the person conducting the ceremony indoors and up to 25 people plus the person conducting the ceremony outdoors without social distancing.
  • Wedding ceremonies and funerals (including receptions and visitation) hosted by a business or organization - 25% of the venue’s capacity up to 50 people indoors or 75 people outdoors with social distancing.
  • Gathering limit with social distancing for meetings and training (indoor and outdoor) - 25% of the venue's capacity up to 50 people indoors and up to 75 people outdoors when meetings and training are hosted by a business or organization, including:
    • provincial and municipal governments
    • private businesses and organizations
    • first responder organizations (emergency first responders are exempt from social distancing when necessary)
    • mental health and addictions support groups
    • organized clubs

Illegal public gatherings

An illegal public gathering is any gathering (indoors or outdoors) that doesn’t follow gathering limits, social distancing requirements, non-medical mask requirements or additional requirements under the Health Protection Act Order. You’re not permitted to:

  • organize an in-person gathering, including requesting, inciting or inviting others to attend an illegal public gathering
  • promote an illegal public gathering, including on social media
  • attend an illegal public gathering (indoors or outdoors)

Exemptions to gathering limits

Exemptions to gathering limits include:

Business and service restrictions

Business and service restrictions are in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Arts and culture

  • Museums, public libraries and Art Gallery of Nova Scotia can operate at 25% capacity and need to follow public health measures like social distancing and masks.

Childcare and education

  • Licensed childcare facilities and family daycare homes can operate at 100% capacity.
  • Public schools, pre-primary and private schools are open and follow the Back to School Plan (PDF).
  • Wearing a mask is required for staff, visitors and children 2 or older when they’re in indoor childcare settings.

Events

  • Any person, business or organization that hosts a permitted event needs make sure everyone in attendance follows the Health Protection Act Order.
  • Businesses and organizations are permitted to host in-person events and activities (indoor and outdoor) if they follow event gathering limits and required public health measures like social distancing and masks. Permitted events include: Organizers must have a COVID-19 Prevention Plan (plans will be reviewed by Government of Nova Scotia for large venues). Virtual events are permitted with a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors and need to follow their COVID-19 Prevention Plan.
  • Drive-in or parking lot faith services and drive-in movie theatres can operate with no limit on the number of vehicles. They need to follow the Health Protection Act Order and gathering limits, including:
    • service or movie is conducted over speakers or by remote radio broadcast
    • vehicles must be parked 2 metres (6 feet) apart in the parking lot, with the engine turned off
    • no contact between vehicles and people can’t exchange items between vehicles
    • following informal indoor social gathering limit in your vehicle
    • people need to remain in their vehicle while attending the service or move, unless accessing a washroom facility or concession stand while following gathering limits, social distancing and mask requirements
  • Activities like cards, darts and pool hosted by licensed and unlicensed establishments (like community centres, clubs and charities) can resume and need to follow Guidelines for Games and Activities in Licensed Establishments (PDF).

Fitness and recreation

  • Businesses and organizations offering a wide variety of indoor recreation and leisure activities (like climbing facilities, dance classes, escape rooms, indoor arcades, indoor play spaces and music lessons) can operate at 25% capacity.
  • Fitness establishments (like gyms and yoga studios), sport and recreation facilities (like pools, arenas, tennis courts and large multipurpose recreation facilities) and organized clubs can operate at 25% capacity.
  • Provincial campgrounds are open. Private campgrounds can open for seasonal and short-term camping and need to follow their sector-specific plan (including distance between campsites).
  • Recreational day camps (indoor and outdoor) can operate with up to 15 people (including staff and volunteers) in each individual camp group without social distancing and need to follow COVID-19 Return to Day Camp Guidelines (PDF).
  • Recreational sleepover (overnight) camps held by a business or organization are not permitted.

Healthcare and continuing care

  • Adult residential centres and regional rehabilitation centres licensed by the Department of Community Services can resume visitation. Residents are permitted to leave the facilities for work, therapy, recreation and family visits if they follow public health measures like social distancing and masks.
  • Adult residential centres and regional rehabilitation centres licensed by the Department of Community Services – Residents can have 2 designated caregivers to 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 persons, and they must have an established caregiving relationship with the resident before COVID-19.
  • Community-based adult day programs for seniors and people with disabilities can resume and need to follow public health guidelines for their sector.
  • Long-term care facilities can resume outdoor visits. Social distancing is required unless the resident is fully vaccinated and visitors need to wear a mask.
  • Long-term care facilities – Residents can have 2 designated caregivers to help with their care at the same time. Designated caregivers can be family members, spouses, friends or other support persons, and they must have an established caregiving relationship with the resident before COVID-19.
  • Long-term care facilities – Residents can go for a walk off facility grounds and go through a drive-thru when going for a drive with a designated caregiver. Fully vaccinated residents can also leave the facility to visit outdoor public places (like parks).
  • Long-term care facilities – All residents (fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated or not vaccinated) can resume recreational activities and personal services (like hairstyling) within the facility.
  • Long-term care facilities – Residents don’t need to be in the same groups for dining and group activities.
  • Residential care facilities – Residents of residential care facilities licensed by the Department of Health and Wellness are permitted to leave the facilities for work, therapy, recreation and family visits if they follow public health measures like social distancing and masks.
  • Testing – COVID-19 Point of Care Screening Tests (PCTs) are not permitted unless the business or organization has Public Health approval and follows the Health Protection Act Order.
  • Unregulated and regulated and health professions can remain open if they have an approved Workplace COVID-19 Prevention Plan.
  • Volunteers can resume their activities at long-term care facilities.

Personal and wellness services

  • Personal services businesses (like hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons and body art establishments) can open by appointment (no walk-in service), including services that require a client to remove their mask. They also need to follow their sector-specific plan.

Restaurants, bars and casinos

  • Casino Nova Scotia (Halifax and Sydney) can operate at 50% capacity and need to follow public health measures like social distancing and masks. They can only serve food and alcohol until 11pm and must close by 12am.
  • First Nations gaming establishments can operate at 50% capacity and need to follow public health measures like social distancing and masks. They can only serve food and alcohol until 11pm and must close by 12am.
  • Video lottery terminals (VLTs) can operate at 50% capacity and need to follow public health measures like social distancing and masks.
  • Liquor licensed (drinking) establishments (like bars, wineries, distillery tasting rooms and craft taprooms) can offer indoor and outdoor dining with a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between people at different tables. There is a maximum of 10 people (close social group of 10) per table. Wearing a mask is required (except when you're eating or drinking). Liquor licensed (drinking) establishments can only serve dine-in customers until 11pm and must close by 12am. They can continue to offer take-out, delivery and drive-thru service after 12am. Craft breweries, wineries and distilleries can operate at 50% store capacity.

    Outdoor patios can’t include buffets and need to have:
    • no portion of the patio located within the exterior walls of a building
    • contain permanent openings in walls and roof totalling not less than 50% of the patio floor area
    • all seating on the patio located within 25 feet of an opening
  • Liquor licensed (drinking) establishments (like bars, wineries, distillery tasting rooms and craft taprooms) must collect contact information for all table service (dine-in) patrons. Contact information needs to include date and time of visit, name and phone number and must be kept for 30 days from date of visit for contact tracing purposes. Patrons can be fined $2,000 for providing false information.
  • Liquor licensed (drinking) establishments (like bars, wineries, distillery tasting rooms and craft taprooms) and unlicensed establishments (like community centres, charities and organized clubs) are permitted to host activities (like darts, cards, pool and bowling).
  • Liquor licensed (drinking) establishments (like bars, wineries, distillery tasting rooms and craft taprooms) can have live music (indoor and outdoor) with 1 performer (professional or amateur) and need to follow COVID-19 Guidelines for Musicians (PDF). Wearing a mask is required (except when you're singing or playing a wind instrument).
  • Restaurants can offer indoor and outdoor dining with a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between people at different tables. There is a maximum of 10 people (close social group of 10) per table. Wearing a mask is required (except when you're eating or drinking). Restaurants can only serve dine-in customers until 11pm and must close by 12am. They can continue to offer take-out, delivery and drive-thru service after 12am.

    Outdoor patios can’t include buffets and need to have:
    • no portion of the patio located within the exterior walls of a building
    • contain permanent openings in walls and roof totalling not less than 50% of the patio floor area
    • all seating on the patio located within 25 feet of an opening
  • Restaurants can have live music (indoor and outdoor) with 1 performer (professional or amateur) and need to follow COVID-19 Guidelines for Musicians (PDF). Wearing a mask is required (except when you're singing or playing a wind instrument).
  • Restaurants must collect contact information for all table service (dine-in) patrons. Contact information needs to include date and time of visit, name and phone number and must be kept for 30 days from date of visit for contact tracing purposes. Patrons can be fined $2,000 for providing false information.

Retail and shopping malls

  • NSLC can operate at 50% of the store’s capacity (shoppers and staff) and need to follow the Health Protection Act Order, including public health measures like social distancing and masks.
  • Private liquor stores, craft breweries, wineries and distilleries can operate at 50% of the store’s capacity (shoppers and staff) and need to follow the Health Protection Act Order, including public health measures like social distancing and masks.
  • Retail stores can operate at 50% of the store’s capacity (shoppers and staff) and need to follow the Health Protection Act Order, including public health measures like social distancing and masks.
  • Shopping malls need to follow the Health Protection Act Order, including:
    • customers can enter the mall to complete their shopping transaction while using contactless payment for in-person shopping (essential service retail) or for curb-side pickup
    • customers must go directly to the retail business to complete their shopping transaction
    • customers wear a mask
    • maintaining a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between patrons, including lineups outside the entrance of a retail business
    • lineups for each retail store are no more than 10 people
    • keeping music to 50 decibels
    • non-retail public areas in the mall are closed
    • food courts can only remain open for people who work in the mall and must maintain a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between tables

Workplaces

  • Businesses and organizations that are not required to close need to maintain a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) within all workplaces and meeting spaces, unless they’re exempt from social distancing or need to follow specific guidelines under the Health Protection Act Order.
  • Businesses and organizations that can’t maintain a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) because their physical space is too small need to limit customers or clients to 10 people maximum and keep as much social distancing as possible.
  • Wearing a non-medical mask is required at private indoor workplaces (like offices or warehouses) in all common areas, places where there’s interaction with the public, areas with poor ventilation and areas where people can’t maintain a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others.

Employers exempt from gathering limits and social distancing

Employers exempt from gathering limits and social distancing requirements include:

  • organizations funded by the Department of Community Services that are covered under the Homes for Special Care Act and the Children and Family Services Act
  • long-term care facilities licensed under the Homes for Special Care Act
  • home care agencies funded under the Homemaker Services Act
  • Independent Living Support, Supported Apartment and Supervised Apartment Programs funded by the Department of Community Services
  • hospitals and health authorities
  • courts, administrative tribunals and arbitration proceedings providing essential services
  • jails, prisons and community-based correctional services
  • unlicensed childcare facilities
  • homeless shelters
  • Emergency Medical Care Incorporated
  • people providing care under the Self-Managed Care Program, Supportive Care Program or Caregiver Benefit Program
  • businesses who provide, service or repair medical equipment like wheelchairs, beds and home oxygen equipment
  • food production plants
  • fishing vessels
  • municipal entities and their contractors:
    • police and fire services
    • municipal utilities (water, wastewater, stormwater)
    • maintenance of utilities and municipal facilities
    • transportation
    • road maintenance and repair
    • municipal information and communications technology (ICT) systems and services
    • public transit
    • solid waste, garbage and litter collection and disposal
    • urban forestry
    • municipal logistic, distribution, storage, inventory and repair services
  • private not-for-profit community transportation providers
  • provincial entities and their contractors:
    • enforcement and compliance officers authorized to inspect, investigate and enforce provincial legislation
    • government building construction and repair
    • transportation and active transit
    • infrastructure and housing
    • road maintenance and repair

Travel

Information for international and interprovincial travellers, including travel restrictions and the self-declaration process for entering Nova Scotia. Learn more: travel and travelling to Nova Scotia.

Enforcement

Police are authorized to enforce orders under the Health Protection Act like gathering limits, social distancing and self-isolation requirements. If you don’t follow public health measures you can be fined $2,000 (for example, the fine is $2,000 for each person at a large gathering). If businesses and organizations don’t follow public health measures, they can be fined $7,500. Multiple fines can be given each day if an individual, business or organization fails to comply.

If someone isn’t following public health measures, talk to them first – they may need help. If you need to call the police, call a non-emergency number for the police in your community (don't call 911). You can also:

  • contact the business or organization, or ask to speak to a manager
  • contact the Department of Labour and Advanced Education (Safety Branch) at 1-800-952-2687 or for business or workplace issues