How to protect yourself and others from coronavirus (COVID-19)

Steps you should take to stay safe, help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect others. Let's continue to support each other and work together to protect our communities.

Maintain healthy everyday habits

Hand washing

Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you’ve been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) when you can’t use soap and water and make sure you follow hand washing guidelines.

Coughs and sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Or use the inside of your elbow. Make sure you follow cough and sneeze guidelines.


Wear a mask in most indoor public spaces, if required by a business or workplace and when you can’t maintain a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others. You can spread COVID-19 to others even if you don’t feel sick. Wearing a mask helps protect you and those around you.

Social distancing

Limit your contact with other people and keep a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others. Keep your close social group of 10 consistent, as much as possible. Make sure you follow social distancing guidelines.

Staying home

Stay at home if you’re sick to avoid spreading illness to others. You should also stay home if think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. You could be carrying the virus without knowing it.

Avoiding infection

Follow gathering limits and self-isolation guidelines

Public gatherings

Understand the limits that apply to public gatherings, businesses and workplaces. You need to follow the gathering limit, unless your group has an exemption identified in the Health Protection Act Order.


Check the self-isolate requirements to see if you’re legally required to self-isolate for 14 days or as directed by Public Health. Most people entering Nova Scotia from outside the province (or returning to the province) must self-isolate for 14 days (unless you’ve only travelled within Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador in the past 14 days). Stay home if you feel sick or have any symptoms, even if mild.

Self-isolation requirements

Monitor your health

Mental health

Pay attention to mental health. Check in with how friends are feeling and offer support. Support for mental health and wellbeing is available for children, youth and adults.


Watch for symptoms. Symptoms can vary from person to person and in different age groups. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. It’s especially important if you’re going to public places, your workplace and settings where it’s difficult to keep a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others.

Book a COVID-19 test

You need to complete a COVID-19 Self-assessment to book a test, even if you don’t have symptoms. You can call 811 for assessment if you’re unable to complete the COVID-19 Self-assessment online (or to speak with a nurse).

Symptoms and testing

Stay informed and be prepared

Stay informed, be prepared and continue to follow Public Health advice. Before going out, consider the risks and make informed choices to keep yourself, your family and your community safe.

Be prepared if you’re planning to be in a setting where you can’t maintain a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) and may come into frequent contact with others. Be aware of and follow safety measures that businesses and organizations have in place to protect you and employees.

Restriction updates