News release

Public Health Restrictions Extended

Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, announced today, Jan. 22, that most public health restrictions will be extended until at least Feb. 7.

“We are still in the middle of a severe second wave of COVID-19 with other provinces and countries facing high case numbers, including our neighbours in New Brunswick,” said Premier McNeil. “That’s why we are continuing our cautious approach in easing restrictions as we focus on protecting Nova Scotians from the virus.”

Some restrictions for sports and arts and culture organizations will be eased starting Jan. 25. Changes include:

  • sports teams can start playing games, but spectators are not permitted and there can be no games or tournaments involving teams that would not regularly play against each other
  • non-team sports can also resume competition, but without spectators and only among competitors who would regularly compete against each other
  • the limit for sports practices, training and games and arts and culture rehearsals and classes will return to 50
  • arts and culture performances can only be virtual and cannot have in-person spectators

Also starting Jan. 25, residents of adult service centres and regional rehabilitation centres can resume community visits for work and volunteering.

Other provincewide restrictions are continuing until 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 7. They include:

  • gathering limit of 10, both in your home and in the community
  • restaurants and licensed establishments stop service by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m.
  • retail businesses and malls operate at 50 per cent capacity
  • fitness facilities operate at 50 per cent capacity and have three metres between people for high-intensity activities, including indoor and outdoor fitness classes
  • social events, festivals, special events, arts and cultural events and sports events are not permitted
  • faith gatherings, wedding ceremonies and funeral services can have 150 people outdoors or 50 per cent of an indoor venue’s capacity, to a maximum of 100
  • wedding receptions and funeral receptions and visitation are not permitted

“The situation in New Brunswick shows us how quickly things can turn with this virus and how hard it is to regain control once it has been lost,” said Dr. Strang. “We are asking Nova Scotians to stay the course with our restrictions and keep following the public health protocols that help keep us all safe.”

Quick Facts:

Additional Resources:

Government of Canada:

Government of Canada information line 1-833-784-4397 (toll-free)

The Mental Health Provincial Crisis Line is available 24/7 to anyone experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis, or someone concerned about them, by calling 1-888-429-8167 (toll-free)

Kids Help Phone is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free)

For help or information about domestic violence 24/7, call 1-855-225-0220 (toll-free)

For more information about COVID-19 testing and online booking, visit

The COVID-19 self-assessment is at