Phase 1 reopening

Phase 1 of Nova Scotia’s reopening plan is in effect. During this phase we can have more social connections, businesses and activities. Plan phases are based on ongoing progress of vaccination rates and improvements of public health and healthcare indicators.

Last updated: 7 June 2021

Reopening safely

During phase 1 we can start having more social connections, including creating a consistent group of 10 for your close social bubble outdoors and participating in some activities in small groups. Businesses and services start to reopen and gradually ease restrictions. Phase 1 allows more outdoor activities to resume with smaller, well-managed groups where the risk of spreading COVID-19 is minimized. This phase also permits all retail to open.

The 5-phase reopening plan outlines how restrictions will ease while protecting the healthcare system and increasing vaccination rates throughout the province. COVID-19 transmission will continue to be monitored. If required, a phase may be paused to respond to trends at county or provincial levels. Additional plan details will be released as each phase starts.

Phase 1 moved to phase 2 on 16 June
  1. Phase 1 Moved to phase 2 16 June
  2. Phase 2 We are here
  3. Phase 3 Expected date 30 June
  4. Phase 4 Expected date 14 July
  5. Phase 5 September

New things you can do

Businesses and services

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). Services that require a client to remove their mask are not permitted.

Restaurants and bars

  • Live music is permitted on outdoor patios at restaurants and liquor licensed (drinking) establishments (like bars, wineries, distillery tasting rooms and craft taprooms) with 1 performer following the Guidelines for Musicians (PDF).
  • Outdoor patios at restaurants and liquor licensed (drinking) establishments (like bars, wineries, distillery tasting rooms and craft taprooms) are open with a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between tables. There is a maximum of 10 people (close social bubble) per table. Wearing a mask is required (except when you're eating or drinking). Restaurants and liquor licensed (drinking) establishments can only serve patio customers until 11pm and must close by 12am. They can continue to offer take-out, delivery and drive-thru service after 12am.

Retail and shopping

  • All retail stores can operate at 25% 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.

Continuing care

Adult residential centres and regional rehabilitation centres

  • 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.

Long-term care facilities

  • 2 designated caregivers can help care for a resident of a long-term care facility at the same time.
  • Outdoor visits can resume at long-term care facilities. Social distancing is required unless the resident is fully vaccinated and visitors need to wear a mask.
  • Recreational activities and personal services like hairstyling can resume within the facility for long-term care residents who are fully vaccinated.

Education and childcare

Childcare facilities and daycare homes

  • Licensed childcare facilities and family daycare homes can operate at 100% capacity.

Schools

Gatherings and social contacts

Indoor and outdoor social gatherings

  • Informal social gathering limit outdoors is up to 10 people without social distancing and masks. You should try to keep your group of 10 consistent (the same people all the time). Informal gathering limit indoors remains your household.

Sports and performing arts

  • Amateur performing arts rehearsals can have up to 10 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.
  • Professional artists, musicians, dancers and actors can rehearse indoors with up to 15 people and outdoors with up to 25 people 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 when you can’t maintain a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others.
  • Sports games, competitions, tournaments, in-person performances and spectators are not permitted.
  • Sports – Players, participants and officials in organized sports (recreational, amateur and professional) can practice and train with up to 10 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.

Weddings, funerals and faith gatherings

  • Outdoor faith gatherings can have up to 10 people with social distancing. Drive-in faith services have no limit on the number of vehicles, but you can only be in a vehicle with your household (the people you live with). Indoor faith gatherings are not permitted.
  • Wedding ceremonies and funerals can have up to 5 people plus the person conducting the ceremony indoors and up to 10 people plus the person conducting the ceremony outdoors with social distancing. Receptions and visitation are not permitted.

Recreation activities

Camping

  • Private campgrounds are open for seasonal and short-term camping and need to follow their sector-specific plan (including distance between campsites).
  • Provincial campgrounds are open.

Fitness and recreation

  • Businesses and organizations offering a wide variety of indoor recreation activities (like indoor arcades, climbing facilities, dance classes and music lessons) can offer 1:1 indoor training and lessons (1 participant and 1 instructor) with a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between participants during activities. Group training and lessons (multiple participants and 1 instructor) are not permitted.
  • Fitness and recreation businesses and organized clubs can offer outdoor activities (like golfing, fitness classes, tennis and bootcamps) with multiple groups of 10 people each with a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between participants and groups during activities.
  • Fitness establishments (like gyms, yoga studios and climbing facilities) and sport and recreation facilities (like arenas, tennis courts and large multipurpose recreation facilities) can offer 1:1 indoor training and lessons (1 participant and 1 instructor) with a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between participants during activities. Group training and lessons (multiple participants and 1 instructor) are not permitted.
  • Outdoor pools can operate with up to 10 people with a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between people.

Theatres

  • Drive-in movie theatres can operate with no limit on the number of vehicles. You can only be in a vehicle with your household (the people you live with).

Travel

Travel to Nova Scotia

  • People from outside Nova Scotia can request a compassionate exception to enter Nova Scotia to visit an immediate family member who is nearing end of life (exceptions are less limited).
  • Post-secondary students who are registered for online study in the Spring or Summer 2021 semester at a Nova Scotia designated learning institution can apply to travel to Nova Scotia by completing the Safe Check-in Form and must self-isolate for 14 days when they arrive in Nova Scotia.

Travel within Nova Scotia

  • Travel is permitted within Nova Scotia (you can travel outside your community).

Public health measures

Continue to follow all public health measures to keep everyone safe. Stay up to date on restrictions and guidance and restriction alerts by county.