Skip to main content
Sunrise over ocean and forest at Kejimkujik National Park

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates and Resources

Last updated: July 7, 2020

What You Need To Know

The Canadian government has temporarily closed the border for non-essential travel. Please check www.travel.gc.ca for the most up to date information.

Due to the uncertainty and quick moving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, please note that international travel bans published by the government may change as the situation requires.

The Province of Nova Scotia has declared a state of emergency.

  • Beginning July 3, there will be an “Atlantic Bubble,” which means residents of the four Atlantic provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador) will be permitted to travel within the Atlantic provinces without the requirement to self-isolate. Visitors from other Canadian provinces and territories must adhere to the local entry requirements in place in each of the four Atlantic provinces. 
    • Starting Friday, July 3, if people show proof that their permanent home is in Atlantic Canada, they will not have to self-isolate for 14 days when coming into Nova Scotia. Every adult will need to show either a drivers' licence, government identification card, health card, or a utility bill or bank statement with a valid Atlantic Canadian address to provincial officials at airports, ferries or the land border when they arrive in the province. A self-declaration form is not required for Atlantic Canadians to enter Nova Scotia. 
    • Atlantic Canadians are also need to follow public health directives while they're in Nova Scotia.
  • People from outside Atlantic Canada must self-isolate for 14 days when they arrive in Nova Scotia. If they have already self-isolate in another Atlantic Canadian province, they may enter Nova Scotia without self-isolating again
    • Every adult (age 18 or older) from outside Atlantic Canada needs to complete a Self-declaration Form - Tracking Travellers to Nova Scotia before they travel to the province, You need the complete form to border@novascotia.ca and keep a copy for your records. 
    • When you arrive in Nova Scotia you need show that you submitted the form (copy of completed from and confirmation you receive after submitting the form). You also need to provide government-issued identification (like a Drivers Licence of Health Card) or a utility bill or bank statement that shows permanent home address. 
    • A paper copy of the the Self-declaration Form is also available at entry points to Nova Scotia for people who don't have access to the form online. 
    • People from outside Atlantic Canada also need to follow public health directives while they're in Nova Scotia 
  • People can gather in groups of up to 10 without physical distancing. People in a group are not required to be exclusive but they are strongly encouraged to maintain a consistent group. This is especially important for Nova Scotians who are more at risk of complications from COVID-19. This change replaces the concept of family household bubbles.
  • If a recognized business or organization is planning an event outdoors, 250 people can attend with physical distancing rules in place. For an indoor event, the limit is 50 per cent capacity to a maximum of 200, again with physical distancing.
    • Gatherings not run by a recognized business or organization, for example a family event in the backyard, are still subject to the 50-person maximum limit with physical distancing.
  • Businesses that are too small to ensure physical distancing can have no more than 10 people on their premises at a time.

Tourism Nova Scotia will relay any change in travel restrictions as soon as the information becomes available. Please read below for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

It can be challenging to make decisions for your business with so much uncertainty around the situation with COVID-19. Tourism Nova Scotia is making every effort to ensure tourism operators have up-to-date information and access to resources that can help you with your business during this time. See our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Travel Restrictions

Travel from outside Canada (International):

The Government of Canada has temporarily restricted non-essential travel to the country to Canadians and permanent residents, with some exceptions.

All international passenger flight arrivals have been redirected to 1 of 4 airports:

  • Calgary International Airport
  • Vancouver International Airport
  • Toronto’s Pearson International Airport
  • Montréal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport

Please visit www.travel.gc.ca for more information. Be sure to check the site frequently, as conditions may change quickly.

Travel from within Canada but outside Atlantic Canada (Domestic):

People from outside Atlantic Canada must self-isolate for 14 days when they arrive in Nova Scotia. If they have already self-isolate in another Atlantic Canadian province, they may enter Nova Scotia without self-isolating again

Every adult (age 18 or older) from outside Atlantic Canada needs to complete a Self-declaration Form - Tracking Travellers to Nova Scotia before they travel to the province, You need the complete form to border@novascotia.ca and keep a copy for your records.  When you arrive in Nova Scotia you need show that you submitted the form (copy of completed from and confirmation you receive after submitting the form). You also need to provide government-issued identification (like a Drivers Licence of Health Card) or a utility bill or bank statement that shows permanent home address.  A paper copy of the the Self-declaration Form is also available at entry points to Nova Scotia for people who don't have access to the form online. 

People from outside Atlantic Canada also need to follow public health directives while they're in Nova Scotia 

There has been no date set for the removal of the 14-day self-isolation requirement. As the situation continues to evolve, all end-dates for restrictions are considered fluid and could be lifted or extended at any time.

Travel within the Atlantic Bubble (Regional):

Beginning July 3, there will be an “Atlantic Bubble”, which means residents of the four Atlantic Provinces, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, will be permitted to travel within the Atlantic Provinces without the self-isolation requirement. 

Atlantic Canadians also need to follow public health directives while they're in Nova Scotia.

Travel within Nova Scotia (Local):

As more businesses, organizations, services and public spaces reopen, Nova Scotians need to work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help keep everyone safe. Nova Scotians are asked to make careful and informed decisions about the travel they engage in to help prevent further spread of COVID-19. You should consider the following measures when travelling within the province:

  • follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines during all activities
  • consult with businesses in advance as to their health and safety protocols
  • observe physical distancing of two metres or six feet when gathering in groups of up to 50
  • keep your hands clean (if you have hand sanitizer, bring it with you)
  • follow cough and sneeze etiquette
  • consider wearing a non-medical mask
  • stay home if you’re feeling sick
Non-Medical Face Masks/Coverings

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, wearing a homemade non-medical mask/facial covering in the community is recommended for periods of time when it is not possible to consistently maintain a 2-metre physical distance from others, particularly in crowded public settings, such as:

  • stores
  • shopping areas
  • public transportation

Effective April 20, 2020, all air passengers are required to have a non-medical mask or face covering to cover their mouth and nose during travel to and from Canadian airports.

Passengers travelling by rail, motor carrier/bus or marine transportation are also strongly encouraged to wear non-medical masks or face coverings as much as possible.  See the measures from Transport Canada

Cruise lines, Ferries, and Commercial Passenger Vessels

The Government of Canada has deferred the start of the cruise ship season in Canada to October 31, 2020 at the earliest. See the news release from Transport Canada.

All commercial passenger vessels with a capacity of more than 12 passengers are prohibited from operating for non-essential purposes, such as tourism or recreational activities (e.g. day tours, whale watching, or sightseeing). These measures remain in place until June 30, 2020 at the earliest. See the backgrounder from Transport Canada.

Reopening the Economy

Most businesses ordered to close due to COVID-19 are permitted to re-open, provided they follow sector-specific health protocols. Eligible businesses include:

  • Restaurants for dine-in, as well as takeout and delivery
  • Bars, wineries, distilleries and taprooms
  • Personal services, such as hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons and body art establishments
  • Fitness facilities, such as gyms, yoga studios and climbing facilities
  • Private campgrounds

All business and customers must continue to follow the public health measures around physical distancing and gathering limits. A full list of COVID-19 restriction updates can be found here: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/restriction-updates/

To support businesses that are currently open, and those planning to reopen or expand their services, the province has developed an online resource at https://novascotia.ca/reopening-nova-scotia/

Sector-specific re-opening plans can be found here: https://novascotia.ca/reopening-nova-scotia/prevention-plans/#sector-plans

More information can be found on our InTouch blog: https://tourismns.ca/news/intouch-blog/planning-reopening-businesses-nova-scotia