Phase 2 reopening

During phase 2 of Nova Scotia’s reopening plan, we further expand outdoor and indoor activities and will increase capacity for businesses and services. Plan phases are based on ongoing progress of vaccination rates and improvements of public health and healthcare indicators.

Last updated: 30 June 2021

Reopening safely

During phase 2 we will continue to expand outdoor and indoor activities and social gatherings. Phase 2 will allow more activities to resume with smaller, well-managed groups where the risk of spreading COVID-19 is minimized. We’ll also be able to increase operating capacity for businesses and services. Testing also continues and is monitored throughout this phase.

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

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 offer all services by appointment (no walk-in service), including services that require a client to remove their mask. They also need to follow their sector-specific plan and the Health Protection Act Order.

Restaurants, bars and casinos

  • Casino Nova Scotia (Halifax and Sydney) can operate at 50% capacity and needs to follow public health measures like social distancing and masks. They can only serve food and alcohol until 11pm and must close by 12am.
  • Liquor licensed (drinking) establishments (like bars, wineries, distillery tasting rooms, craft taprooms and liquor manufacturers) can offer indoor and outdoor dining with a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between people at different tables. There is a maximum of 10 people (close social group of 10) per table. Wearing a mask is required (except when you're eating or drinking). Liquor licensed (drinking) establishments can only serve dine-in customers until 11pm and must close by 12am. They can continue to offer take-out, delivery and drive-thru service after 12am.
  • Live music is permitted indoors and outdoors at restaurants and liquor licensed (drinking) establishments (like bars, wineries, distillery tasting rooms, craft taprooms and liquor manufacturers) with 1 performer following the Guidelines for Musicians (PDF). Wearing a mask is required when performing (except when you're singing or playing a wind instrument).
  • Restaurants can offer indoor and outdoor dining with a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between people at different tables. There is a maximum of 10 people (close social group of 10) per table. Wearing a mask is required (except when you're eating or drinking). Restaurants can only serve dine-in customers until 11pm and must close by 12am. They can continue to offer take-out, delivery and drive-thru service after 12am.
  • Video lottery terminals (VLTs) can operate at 50% capacity and need to follow public health measures (like social distancing and masks) and their sector-specific plan. Establishments that hold a liquor licence can only serve food and alcohol until 11pm and must close by 12am.

Retail and shopping

  • All retail stores can operate at 50% 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.
  • Households can have more than 1 designated shopper (no limit on the number of shoppers per household).

Continuing care

Adult day programs

  • Community-based adult day programs for seniors and people with disabilities can resume and need to follow public health guidelines for their sector.

Long-term care facilities

  • Long-term care residents can go for a walk off facility grounds and go through a drive-thru when going for a drive with a designated caregiver. Fully vaccinated residents can also leave the facility to visit outdoor public places (like parks).
  • Recreational activities and personal services like hairstyling can resume at long-term care facilities for all residents (fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated or not vaccinated).
  • Long-term care residents don’t need to be in the same groups for dining and group activities.
  • Volunteers can resume their activities at long-term care facilities.

Gatherings and social contacts

Festivals, special events and arts and culture events

  • Festivals, special events and arts and culture events (like performances) - 25% of the venue’s capacity up to 50 people indoors and up to 75 people outdoors with social distancing and mask requirements when hosted by a business or organization. Organizers must have a COVID-19 Prevention Plan (plans will be reviewed by Government of Nova Scotia for large venues).

Indoor and outdoor social gatherings

  • Informal social gathering limit indoors is up to 10 people (household members and visitors) without social distancing and masks.
  • Informal social gathering limit outdoors is up to 25 people without social distancing and masks.
  • People can participate in outdoor recreational activities (like golfing, fitness classes, tennis and bootcamps) hosted by fitness and recreation businesses and organized clubs. The gathering limit is up to 25 people or multiple groups of 25 people each with a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between participants and groups during activities.

Meetings

  • Meetings and training (indoor and outdoor) with social distancing and mask requirements - 25% of the venue's capacity up to 50 people indoors and up to 75 people outdoors when meetings and training are hosted by a business or organization, including:
    • provincial and municipal government
    • private businesses and organizations
    • first responder organizations (emergency first responders are exempt from social distancing when necessary)
    • mental health and addictions support groups
    • organized clubs

Sports and performing arts

  • Amateur performing arts rehearsals and virtual or in-person performances can have up to 10 people indoors and up to 25 people outdoors without social distancing. Masks are recommended when you can’t maintain a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others. Spectators are permitted (indoor and outdoor) for performing arts hosted by a business or organization that have an Event Plan. Spectators have a limit of 25% of the facility's capacity up to 50 spectators indoors and 75 spectators outdoors and need to follow social distancing guidelines.
  • Professional performing arts rehearsals and performances can have up to 15 people indoors and up to 25 people outdoors 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). Masks are recommended outdoors when you can’t maintain a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others. Musicians need to follow COVID-19 Guidelines for Musicians (PDF). Spectators have a limit of 25% of the facility's capacity up to 50 spectators indoors and 75 spectators outdoors and need to follow social distancing guidelines.
  • Sports – Players, participants and officials in organized sports (recreational, amateur and professional) can practice and train with up to 10 people indoors and up to 25 people outdoors without social distancing. Masks are recommended when you can’t maintain a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others. Sport games, competitions and tournaments are not permitted. Spectators have a limit of 25% of the facility's capacity up to 50 spectators indoors or 75 spectators outdoors and need to follow social distancing guidelines.
  • Virtual events are permitted with a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors and need to follow their COVID-19 Prevention Plan.

Weddings, funerals and faith gatherings

  • Drive-in faith services have no limit on the number of vehicles. You need to follow the informal indoor social gathering limit in your vehicle.
  • Faith gatherings hosted by a business or organization - 25% of the venue’s capacity up to 50 people indoors or 75 people outdoors with social distancing and masks.
  • Informal faith gatherings can have up to 10 people plus the person conducting the ceremony indoors and up to 25 people plus the person conducting the ceremony outdoors without social distancing.
  • Informal wedding ceremonies and funerals (including receptions and visitation) can have up to 10 people plus the person conducting the ceremony indoors and up to 25 people plus the person conducting the ceremony outdoors without social distancing.
  • Wedding ceremonies and funerals (including receptions and visitation) hosted by a business or organization - 25% of the venue’s capacity up to 50 people indoors or 75 people outdoors with social distancing.

Recreation activities

Bingo, cards, darts and pool

  • Activities like cards, darts and pool hosted by licensed and unlicensed establishments (like community centres, clubs and charities) can resume and need to follow Guidelines for Games and Activities in Licensed Establishments (PDF).
  • Bingos with a Bingo Lottery Licence can resume and need to follow the same requirements as   Liquor licensed (drinking) establishments and the Reopening Guide for Bingo Operations (PDF), including: 
    • minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between people at different tables
    • maximum of 10 people (close social group of 10) per table
    • wearing a mask is required (except when you're eating or drinking)

Fitness and recreation

  • Businesses and organizations offering a wide variety of indoor recreation and leisure activities (like climbing facilities, dance classes, escape rooms, indoor arcades, indoor play spaces and music lessons) can operate at 25% capacity and need to maintain a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between participants during activities. Wearing a mask is required (except during an activity that makes it difficult to wear a mask).
  • Day camps (indoor and outdoor) can operate with up to 15 people (including staff and volunteers) in each individual camp group without social distancing or multiple groups of 15 people each with social distancing between groups and need to follow COVID-19 Return to Day Camp Guidelines (PDF).
  • Fitness establishments (like gyms and yoga studios) and sport and recreation facilities (like arenas, pools, tennis courts and large multipurpose recreation facilities) can operate at 50% capacity and need to follow the Health Protection Act Order and their sector-specific plan, including:
    • maintaining a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between participants during activities (indoor and outdoor), except participants living in the same household or participants in close social groups of 10
    • outdoor fitness classes and other recreational activities can have up to 25 people with a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between participants during activities
  • Fitness facilities, recreation and leisure businesses and organized clubs can host 1:1 lessons or personal training without social distancing for recreational activities if the instructor and participant wear a mask (except during an activity that makes it difficult to wear a mask).
  • Golf courses can operate at maximum capacity possible while maintaining a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between each group on the golf course.

Museums and libraries

  • Museums, libraries and Art Gallery of Nova Scotia can operate at 25% capacity and need to follow the Health Protection Act Order, including public health measures like social distancing and masks.

Theatres

Travel

Travel to Nova Scotia

  • People from outside Nova Scotia can request a compassionate exception to enter Nova Scotia to attend a funeral or service (like a burial or celebration of life) for an immediate family member.
  • Seasonal property owners and people moving to Nova Scotia permanently 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 Atlantic Canada

  • Starting 23 June 2021, if you travel within Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador, you can enter Nova Scotia and don’t need to complete the Safe Check-in Form or self-isolate when you arrive in or return to Nova Scotia. If you’ve already self-isolated in Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador, you can enter Nova Scotia without self-isolating again. If you travelled from Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador before 23 June 2021 and are self-isolating in Nova Scotia, you can stop self-isolating. Self-isolation requirements may change based on the border strategy and epidemiology of each province.
  • Starting 23 June 2021, if you’re travelling from New Brunswick, you can enter Nova Scotia and need to complete the Safe Check-in Form. You may need to self-isolate when you arrive in or return to Nova Scotia. Self-isolation requirements are based on vaccination status and testing. Self-isolation requirements include:
    • people who are fully vaccinated (2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine) at least 14 days before arriving in Nova Scotia don't need to self-isolate; testing is recommended
    • people who are partially vaccinated (first dose of COVID-19 vaccine) at least 14 days before arriving in Nova Scotia must self-isolate for 7 days and receive 2 negative tests results in order to leave self-isolation after 7 days
    • people who are not vaccinated (0 doses of COVID-19 vaccine) at least 14 days before arriving in Nova Scotia must self-isolate for 14 days; testing is recommended at the start and end of your self-isolation

Travel within Nova Scotia

  • No restriction on travel within Nova Scotia. Travel is permitted within Nova Scotia (you can travel outside your community).

Workplaces

Indoor workplaces

  • Workplaces (like offices) should continue to have employees work from home whenever possible.

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.