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 if you:

How long you need to self-isolate

If you have COVID-19 symptoms or you tested positive for COVID-19, your self-isolation requirements are based on your personal situation.

Mandatory vaccination in high-risk settings

As part of the mandatory vaccination protocol for high-risk settings, most people who work in the public sector providing services and supports to vulnerable people need proof of full vaccination.

Protocol: COVID-19 Protocol for Mandatory Vaccination in High-Risk Settings (PDF)

The mandatory vaccination protocol for high-risk settings applies to:

  • visitors, designated caregivers and workers in healthcare facilities (like Nova Scotia Health Authority and IWK Health Centre)
  • visitors, designated caregivers and workers in long-term care facilities (licensed and unlicensed) and homecare agencies (publicly and privately funded)
  • public school teachers, pre-primary and other school-based staff, regional and board office staff and people providing services in schools, including cafeteria and school bus services
  • Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia
  • workers in residential care facilities and day programs funded by the Department of Community Services (Disability Support Program) and adult day programs funded by the Department of Seniors and Long-term Care
  • workers in Department of Community Services facilities and people providing placements for children and youth in the care of the Minister of Community Services (excluding foster family placements)
  • paramedics, LifeFlight nurses and some staff at Emergency Health Services (EHS)
  • correctional officers, youth workers, staff volunteers, contractors and service providers who work in or provide service to adult and youth correctional facilities
  • early childhood educators and staff in regulated childcare, including volunteers, practicum students and other professionals entering these settings
  • physicians and other service providers to organizations that are required to follow the COVID-19 Protocol for Mandatory Vaccination in High-Risk Settings (PDF) (like hairdressers and contractors)

Employers need to make sure that employees are aware of the COVID-19 Protocol for Mandatory Vaccination in High-Risk Settings and know when and how to show proof of vaccination. There are minimal exceptions to the protocol. If you have questions about the protocol, you should talk to your employer.

Education restrictions

Education restrictions are in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Public schools and the Pre-primary Program need to follow the updated guidance in the Back to School Plan for 2021 to 2022 including staff, students and visitors need to wear a mask during school hours and on school buses.

Healthcare and continuing care

Healthcare and continuing care restrictions are in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Residents in homes licensed by the Department of Community Services under the Homes for Special Care Act can have 5 visitors at a time (it doesn’t need to be the same visitors each time). Larger groups of visitors are permitted for special occasions (like a resident's birthday or anniversary). Check with the facility to make sure they can accommodate 5 visitors and larger groups of visitors.
  • All residents in homes licensed by the Department of Community Services under the Homes for Special Care Act can leave the facility.
  • Visitors at homes licensed by the Department of Community Services under the Homes for Special Care Act need to wear a mask and be fully vaccinated (except for end-of-life visits). Visitors need to follow social distancing guidelines (except for quick, close contact, like a hug).
  • Long-term care residents can have up to 5 visitors at a time (it doesn’t need to be the same visitors each time). Larger groups of visitors are permitted for special occasions (like a resident's birthday or anniversary). Check with the facility to make sure they can accommodate 5 visitors and larger groups of visitors.
  • All long-term care residents can leave the facility to visit with family in their homes (overnight stays are permitted). Residents can also leave the facility to visit indoor and outdoor public places (like parks, stores and restaurants). Masks and social distancing are recommended.
  • All long-term care residents can participate in recreational activities and personal services (like hairstyling) within the facility.
  • Visitors at long-term care facilities need to wear a mask and be fully vaccinated (except for end-of-life visits). Visitors need to follow social distancing guidelines (except for quick, close contact, like a hug).
  • Nova Scotia Health Authority and IWK Health Centre are gradually changing patient and visitor restrictions.

Masks

To protect yourself and others, Public Health recommends that you should wear a mask in indoor public places, public transportation and crowded outdoor spaces.

Social distancing guidelines

To protect yourself and others, Public Health recommends that you should:

  • stay 2 metres (6 feet) away from other people as much as possible, unless you’re with your household members (the people you live with) or your close social contacts
  • keep your close social contacts to a small consistent group, as much as possible
  • make informed choices about who and how to interact with each other (consider age, occupation and health conditions)

Enforcement

Police are authorized to enforce orders under the Health Protection Act. 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 have concerns about safety in a workplace, contact the Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration (Safety Branch) at 1-800-952-2687 or .