In an effort to counter the rise in COVID-19 variant cases, the Nova Scotia government has effectively locked down the province until at least May 20, 2021. During this time, the borders are effectively closed and Nova Scotians must avoid traveling outside of their own community unless absolutely necessary. Exceptions to this rule include commercial trucking and people who work in neighbouring communities. Retail remains open with in-store capacity restrictions and the rules for quick service restaurants vary, depending on the community.
The most severe restrictions are in all areas of Halifax Regional Municipality as well as the communities of Hubbards, Milford, Lantz, Elmsdale, Enfield, Mount Uniacke, South Uniacke, Ecum Secum and Trafalgar. The personal gathering limit is five people. Schools in these communities have moved to online learning. See government press release.
- All retail will remain open (adhering to COVID-19 operational plans) but stores will be limited to 25% capacity, based on the building code.
- Quick service restaurants will be limited to takeout, delivery and drive through service.
- Cinemas, hair salons and spas are closed.
Rest of Nova Scotia:
The personal gathering limit is ten people. Schools remain open with restrictions. See government press release.
- All retail will remain open (adhering to COVID-19 operational plans) but stores will be limited to 50% capacity, based on the building code.
- Quick service restaurants can operate at 50% capacity (based on the building code). They can provide service until 11pm and close for seated service by midnight. Takeout, delivery and drive through service are also permitted.
- Hair salons and spas are allowed to open but cannot offer services that require the client to remove their mask.
- Cinemas are prohibited from operating.
The Nova Scotia Building Code requires the following:
Occupant load (staff and shoppers) for retail uses according to Table 22.214.171.124. in the Nova Scotia Building Code is based on:
- Basements and first storeys = 3.7 sq m/person (40 sq ft/person);
- Second storeys having a principal entrance from a pedestrian thoroughfare or parking area(second floor of a mall) = 3.7 sq m/person (40 sq ft/person); and
- All other storeys = 5.6 sq m/person (60 sq ft/person).
This applies to the retail area and not any offices, warehouse space etc.
Retail stores in the Halifax area must restrict shoppers and staff to 25% or less of allowable capacity according to the current COVID-19 guidelines.
Retail stores in the rest of Nova Scotia must restrict shoppers and staff to 50% or less of allowable capacity according to the current COVID-19 guidelines.
For questions or more information contact
Director, Government Relations (Atlantic)