Reopening Nova Scotia

As more businesses, organizations, services and public spaces reopen, we need to work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help keep everyone safe.

Businesses and organizations required to close

To reopen, sector associations representing businesses and organizations that were required to close under the Health Protection Act Order must develop and comply with a Workplace COVID-19 Prevention Plan for their sector. Public Health is meeting with sector associations to share public health principles and provide information to help them develop their plans.

Plans need to show how the sector will comply with the Health Protection Act Order and public health directives (including social distancing) and ensure the safety of employees and customers. Sector associations representing businesses and organizations that were required to close need to submit their plans to government for approval (send plans to nseconomy@novascotia.ca).

Sector associations need to share their plans with the businesses and organizations in their sector. Businesses and organizations should contact their association to learn what they need to do to reopen safely.

Businesses and organizations must continue to follow the Health Protection Act Order and their sector-specific plans after they open.

Health Protection Act Order (PDF)

Businesses and organizations not required to close

Businesses and organizations that weren’t required to close under the Health Protection Act Order should develop a Workplace COVID-19 Prevention Plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Plans should show how businesses and organizations will comply with the Health Protection Act Order and public health directives (including social distancing and gathering limits) and ensure the safety of employees and customers. Businesses and organizations don’t need to submit their plans to government.

Businesses and organizations should share their plans with employees and have it available if requested. They also need to provide their plans if provincial inspectors ask for it.  

All businesses, organizations and employees need to follow the Health Protection Act Order and public health directives. There are also business and service restrictions in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Sample prevention plans

Public places

Wearing a non-medical mask is required in most indoor public places and on public transportation.

All businesses, organizations and workplaces need to follow the Health Protection Act Order and their sector-specific plans, including any additional mask requirements for areas that are not accessed by the public. They can choose to refuse entry or service to people who are not wearing a non-medical mask when required in indoor public places, unless they have an exemption identified in the Health Protection Act Order.

When to wear a mask

Employees

Employers and employees need to work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19, protect their customers and keep each other safe. Employers need to make sure that employees are aware of employment rules and resources.

If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, Public Health contacts them directly. Public Health works with the person to identify all their close contacts and conduct a risk assessment to determine if any of their close contacts need to self-isolate or if a business needs to take additional safety steps.

If you have questions about workplace leaves, layoffs or other labour matters, contact the Labour Standards Division at 1-888-315-0110.

Employee support

Keeping workplaces safe

In addition to following the Health Protection Act Order and public health directives, businesses and organizations have their own specific safety considerations to think about. To help create a healthy workplace, consider how you’ll:

  • maintain social distancing between staff and customers (2 metres or 6 feet)
  • limit the number of customers or clients on the premises (indoor and outdoor) to no more than 10 people at a time if you’re not able to maintain social distancing
  • implement additional cleaning and disinfecting protocols, especially for high-touch surfaces and washrooms
  • implement additional safety measures and personal protective equipment for staff (like plexiglass dividers and masks)
  • encourage and provide supplies for proper hygiene
  • adapt work practices and workflows (like high-touch equipment and tools, working from home, office setup, scheduling for employees and reducing the number of objects and surfaces that people touch)
  • increase ventilation (like doing business outdoors or keeping doors and windows open)
  • protect vulnerable populations (like having hours just for seniors)

Businesses and organizations can use the COVID-19 Prevention Plan Checklist (PDF 113 kB) to help create a healthy workplace.

Working safely

Keeping customers safe

Workplaces and customers need to work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep each other safe.

Businesses, organizations and workplaces where masks are required under the Health Protection Act Order are encouraged to post a Face Mask Required Sign (PDF) to let customers and clients know that masks are mandatory.

Businesses and organizations may ask customers to follow additional health measures like following signage to guide them through the business. If you have questions about additional health measures, you can contact the business or organization to learn what they’re doing to keep everyone safe.

You can support businesses and organizations by following the health measures they put in place. You also need to follow social distancing guidelines and public health directives.

Staying healthy during COVID-19

Contacts

Sector association plans (questions and plan submissions)
nseconomy@novascotia.ca

Occupational Health and Safety (safety questions)
1-800-952-2687
laesafetybranch@novascotia.ca

Labour Standards (your rights and obligations at work)
1-888-315-0110
labourstandards@novascotia.ca

Business Navigators (reopening information and business supports)
1-844-628-7347
busnavigation@novascotia.ca