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: 17 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 in effect
  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 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.

Restaurants, bars and casinos

  • Casino Nova Scotia (Halifax and Sydney) and video lottery terminals (VLTs) can operate at 50% capacity and need 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 and craft taprooms) 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 and craft taprooms) with 1 performer following the Guidelines for Musicians (PDF). Wearing a mask is required (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.

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 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.

Meetings

  • Meetings and training (indoor and outdoor) - 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.
  • Professional performing arts rehearsals and virtual or in-person 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.
  • 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.
  • Sports and performing arts spectators – Spectators are permitted (indoor and outdoor) for sports and performing arts hosted by a business or organization that have an Event Plan. Spectators are included in event gathering limits 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.
  • 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

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.
  • Day camps (indoor and outdoor) can operate with up to 15 people (including staff and volunteers) in each individual camp group without social distancing 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 pools, arenas, tennis courts and large multipurpose recreation facilities) can operate at 50% capacity.

Museums and libraries

  • Museums, libraries and Art Gallery of Nova Scotia can operate at 25% capacity and need to follow 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 live in Atlantic Canada (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador) you can enter Nova Scotia and don’t need to self-isolate when you travel to or return to Nova Scotia. If you live outside Atlantic Canada and have already self-isolated in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador, you can enter Nova Scotia without self-isolating again.

Travel within Nova Scotia

  • No restriction on 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.