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COVID-19 Tourism Industry Frequently Asked Questions

It can be challenging to make decisions for your business with so much uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic. 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.

For general information and updates about COVID-19 and tourism, visit https://tourismns.ca/covid-19-updates-and-resources.

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions for tourism businesses.

What resources and supports are available to help tourism businesses deal with the impacts of COVID-19?

See the latest COVID-19 programs, resources and supports for tourism businesses. Any changes or additions to programs or resources will be added to this page as necessary. However, we encourage you to visit program pages directly for eligibility and application details.

What are the current travel restrictions?

As of October 30, 2021: if you are 12 years of age or older, you will need to be fully vaccinated in order to board:

  • domestic or international flights departing from airports in Canada
  • VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains
  • non-essential passenger vessels, such as cruise ships, on voyages of 24 hours or more departing from ports in Canada, once voyages resume

Visit Boarding flights to and within Canada for more information.

Travel from outside Canada (International):

At this time, both the federal and provincial governments have public health measures in place related to international travel.

The Government of Canada has temporarily restricted non-essential travel to the country to Canadians and permanent residents, with some exceptions. Fully vaccinated international travellers are permitted to enter Canada for discretionary (non-essential) travel.

Find out if you can come to Canada here: https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/wizard-start 

International travellers must follow federal entry requirements, and do not need to complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form if they are coming relatively directly to Nova Scotia. If they are travelling in another Canadian province prior to entering Nova Scotia, then they would be considered a domestic traveller and must follow the requirements below.

Effective December 21, all international travellers are required to obtain a negative pre-arrival test within 72hrs before entering Canada, regardless of the duration of the trip.

For more information please visit COVID-19: Travel, testing, quarantine and borders - Travel.gc.ca. Be sure to check the site frequently, as conditions may change quickly.

Note for international travellers departing from Nova Scotia:

Travellers are responsible for learning the rules and travel restrictions of the airline and the country they are travelling to. Travellers can check on the International Air Transport Association (IATA) website for more information. You can input the source and destination Country to view any restrictions and requirements: https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/ 

COVID tests required for travel can be booked through PRAXES (PCR) or Switch Health (PCR + Antigen). Please visit these sites for further details on pricing and scheduling.

Travellers are responsible for the costs for tests required for travel. 

Temporary border restrictions and measures to address COVID-19 Omicron variant of concern

Travellers who have been in specified countries within 14 days prior to arrival in Canada:

  • Foreign nationals are not permitted entry into Canada
  • Canadian citizens, permanent residents, people with status under the Indian Act, are subject to enhanced pre-entry and arrival testing, screening, and quarantine measures
  • Travellers (fully vaccinated and unvaccinated) are required to stay at a designated quarantine facility while they await their arrival test result

See the announcement for details.

Fully vaccinated travellers arriving by air or land, who have been in any country other than Canada and the United States in the 14 days prior to entry to Canada, will all be subject to arrival testing and enhanced public health measures. Travellers arriving by air may take connecting flights to their place of quarantine.

Travel from within Canada (domestic):

People age 12 and over coming from provinces and territories outside Nova Scotia (including Atlantic provinces) must complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form and upload your proof of vaccination if you have it. Your isolation requirements are based on vaccination status and testing:

  • People who are fully vaccinated do not have to self-isolate but testing is still recommended.
  • People age 12 and over who are not fully vaccinated must self-isolate for at least 7 days and cannot leave isolation until they get 2 negative tests results.

Fully vaccinated means you had two doses of a World Health Organization approved vaccine (or 1 dose of Janssen) at least 14 days before arriving in Nova Scotia. The tests must be standard PCR lab tests. They cannot be rapid tests. They must be done in Nova Scotia, not in advance of arrival. Tests should be on day 1 or 2 and on day 6 or 7.

For people arriving in Halifax or Sydney by air, they can get their first test at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport or JA Douglas McCurdy Airport. All travellers can book tests online at testing sites around the province.

Children under the age of 12 need to be included on the form of the least vaccinated adult who they are traveling with and they follow the same isolation requirements as that adult.

Travel from within Atlantic Canada (regional):

People traveling from New Brunswick, PEI, and Newfoundland and Labrador can follow the Atlantic Canada Travel Protocol if their reason for travel is covered by it. If not, they must follow the same rules as all provinces and territories outside Atlantic Canada. They must complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in and upload  proof of vaccination if applicable. Their isolation requirements are based on vaccination status and testing.

Travel from within Nova Scotia (local):

Nova Scotians can travel within the province while adhering to public health guidelines.

Please note that effective December 1, children age 11 and younger from outside Nova Scotia cannot participate in sports or arts and culture events like games, competitions, tournaments and performances in this province. Also, Nova Scotia children in this age group cannot participate in these types of events outside the province. Individuals, businesses and organizations cannot bring these children into or out of Nova Scotia for these types of events. Measures like isolation or testing cannot be used in order to participate in these events. Children can still attend as spectators and they can still attend practices, lessons and rehearsals. This is a temporary measure that will be re-evaluated in January.

Who can come to Nova Scotia without isolating?
  • Residents of any Canadian province or territory outside of Nova Scotia with two doses of vaccine at least 14 days before arriving in Nova Scotia
    • No self-isolation requirements
    • Testing is recommended but not required
    •  Safe Check-in Form is required - https://travel-declaration.novascotia.ca/en
      • Approval is often automatic on the condition that you upload proof of vaccination.
    • You must also have your Safe Check-in confirmation and proof of vaccination to show border officials if asked. 
    • Children under the age of 12 follow the same protocols as the least vaccinated adult in the group (unless they are traveling alone, in which case they isolate based on their own vaccination status).
  • Fully vaccinated international travellers if they meet the federal entry criteria.
    • Must follow federal entry requirements including testing
    • Safe Check-in Form is NOT required
Who can come to Nova Scotia and still needs to isolate?
  • People age 12 and over coming from provinces and territories outside of Nova Scotia with one dose of vaccine at least 14 days before arriving in Nova Scotia, or who received their second dose of vaccine less than 14 days before arrival, or no doses before arrival.
    • Self-isolation for at least seven days. To stop isolation at seven days, they must get two negative tests results while in Nova Scotia; tests should be on day one or two and on day five or six. Otherwise, they can isolate for 14 days with no testing requirement.
    • Safe Check-in Form is required - https://travel-declaration.novascotia.ca/en You must also have your Safe Check-in confirmation and proof of vaccination to show border officials if asked.
    • Children under the age of 12 follow the same protocols as the least vaccinated adult in the group (unless they are traveling alone, in which case they isolate based on their own vaccination status)
       
  • People coming from provinces and territories outside of Nova Scotia who have a letter from Public Health in a Canadian province or territory stating that they’ve recovered from COVID-19 less than 12 weeks before arriving in Nova Scotia and are partially vaccinated (first dose of COVID-19 vaccine) at least 14 days before arriving in Nova Scotia.
Do I have to self-isolate if someone is completing their self-isolation period in my home?

Yes, everyone in the home where a person is self-isolating will have to self-isolate as well. Nobody in that home can leave the property for 14 days and they cannot have visitors. There is an exception if you have a completely separate living quarters. For more information, see https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/restrictions-and-guidance/#self-isolation-requirements

Are there exceptions to the travel restrictions or self-isolation requirements for travellers who are vaccinated?

Fully vaccinated travellers are not required to self-isolate when they arrive in Nova Scotia.

For exemptions to self-isolation requirements, please visit: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/restrictions-and-guidance/#exemptions

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must follow public health guidelines such as social distancing, gathering restrictions, and mask requirements while they are in Nova Scotia.

What are the guidelines for Children?
  • If a group, such as a family, is entering the province together and staying together in Nova Scotia, each person age 12 and over needs their own Safe Check-in form and children under the age of 12 are to be included on the form of the least vaccinated adult in the group.
    • They can all stay in the same place and interact with each other.
      • For example, if a family arrives together and one adult is fully vaccinated 14 days before arriving but another adult in the group has no vaccination, the first adult is able to come and go while the other adult and children under 12 isolate. 
  • If a child is traveling alone, they require a Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form for themselves (or a parent completes it in the child’s name) and they need to upload the child’s proof of vaccination status. Isolation is based on the child’s vaccination status and testing.
  • Children 11 and under do not have to isolate if they are traveling alone or with fully vaccinated people. They do have to isolate if anyone 12 or older in their group is not fully vaccinated.
  • If an adult or child is traveling for child custody reasons, they need to follow the child custody protocol: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/docs/COVID-19-Protocol-for-child-custody-en.pdf

Please note that effective December 1, children age 11 and younger from outside Nova Scotia cannot participate in sports or arts and culture events like games, competitions, tournaments and performances in this province. Also, Nova Scotia children in this age group cannot participate in these types of events outside the province. Individuals, businesses and organizations cannot bring these children into or out of Nova Scotia for these types of events. Measures like isolation or testing cannot be used in order to participate in these events. Children can still attend as spectators and they can still attend practices, lessons and rehearsals. This is a temporary measure that will be re-evaluated in January.

Do the entry requirements allow a grace period for children who just turned 12 and haven't had time to get vaccinated?

Children who turned 12 between September 1 and November 1, 2021 have until January 31, 2022 to get vaccinated. Children who turn 12 after 1 November 2021 have 4 months from their birthday to get vaccinated.

Until they are fully vaccinated or they reach the end of the grace period, they follow self-isolation requirements for the least vaccinated person 12 or older they’re traveling with (just like children 11 and under). They should be included on the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form for that person.

Once they’ve become fully vaccinated OR when their grace period is over (whichever comes first), their self-isolation requirements will be based on their own vaccination status.

What are the entry requirements for international travellers to come to Canada?
  • All international travellers must use ArriveCAN (app or web portal) to submit their travel information.
  • All travellers five years of age or older to Canada, regardless of vaccination status, are required to have a pre-entry COVID-19 molecular negative test result within 72 hours of entry into Canada or within the scheduled departure time of your flight.
    • More information about testing requirements can be found here.
    • Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19, but continue to test positive, will be required to present a positive COVID-19 molecular test result on a specimen taken 14 to 180 days prior to arrival in Canada as part of the pre-arrival test requirements.
  • Fully vaccinated travellers will not need a post-arrival test unless they have been randomly selected to complete a Day 1 COVID-19 molecular test.
  • Fully vaccinated travellers who meet the requirements will be exempt from quarantine.
    • Fully vaccinated travellers are people who have gone two weeks (14 days) since a full course of one of the four COVID-19 vaccines approved by Health Canada -- Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson.
    • Border officials will want to see a paper or digital copy of vaccination documentation, and a certified translation of same if the original is not in either English or French.
  • Children under 12 who are accompanied by fully vaccinated adults can also enter Canada without quarantining but will be required to wear a mask in public and avoid group settings, such as schools, day cares and summer camps during the first 14 days after their arrival.
  • Unvaccinated travellers permitted to travel to Canada must quarantine for 14 days with mandatory on-arrival and Day 8 testing.
  • All travellers, vaccinated or not, must present a suitable quarantine plan in case quarantine is required.

All questions about international travel should be directed to the Canada Border Services Agency: English 1-800-461-9999 / French 1-800-959-2036 / outside Canada: 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064 / tccu-ustcc@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca

Temporary border restrictions and measures to address COVID-19 Omicron variant of concern

Travellers who have been in specified countries within 14 days prior to arrival in Canada:

  • Foreign nationals are not permitted entry into Canada
  • Canadian citizens, permanent residents, people with status under the Indian Act, are subject to enhanced pre-entry and arrival testing, screening, and quarantine measures
  • Travellers (fully vaccinated and unvaccinated) are required to stay at a designated quarantine facility while they await their arrival test result

See the announcement for details.

Fully vaccinated travellers arriving by air or land, who have been in any country other than Canada and the United States in the 14 days prior to entry to Canada, will all be subject to arrival testing and enhanced public health measures. Travellers arriving by air may take connecting flights to their place of quarantine.

If travellers require a COVID test to go to another country or return to their country of origin, how do they book a test?

Travellers are responsible for learning the rules and travel restrictions of the airline and the country they are travelling to. Travellers can check on the International Air Transport Association (IATA) website for more information. You can input the source and destination Country to view any restrictions and requirements: https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/ 

COVID tests required for travel can be booked through PRAXES (PCR) or Switch Health (PCR + Antigen). Please visit these sites for further details on pricing and scheduling.

Please note, travellers are responsible for the costs for tests required for travel. 

Where can I point my customers to get more information about travel restrictions and public health guidelines?

Travellers can find more information about public health guidelines at the following links:

What is my responsibility as an accommodation operator to ensure my guests follow directives to self-isolate for 14 days if they have been outside of the province?

Your guests may not be aware of this provincial directive, or how it impacts them. The check-in process is a good time to remind guests of the restrictions and protocols in place to protect themselves and others. It is recommended that staff do not question guests or make assumptions regarding their health.

Consider creating a resource page that could be distributed to each room outlining the provincial guidelines as well as steps the hotel has taken to protect the health and safety of guests.

If you are aware of someone not following the Public Health directive, have a conversation with them first – they may need help. However, if you still have concerns following a discussion with your guest and believe there may be a risk to public health, you may call a non-emergency number for the police that serve your community. Do not call 911.

The Hotel Association of Canada has created hotel-specific resources including a FAQ for taking care of employees and guests, and guidelines for modified operations which may be of use to you: http://www.hotelassociation.ca/coronavirus/

Can businesses refuse service to customers if they have travelled outside of the region in the last 14 days?

Businesses understandably want to protect their staff and customers from COVID-19. We cannot refuse service to people just because we're afraid they may have come into contact with the virus. In fact, refusal of service for this reason could result in a complaint under the Human Rights Act. Businesses who decide to refuse service should be aware of the implications of this action. If a person is following public health rules, a businesses should not be refusing to serve them just because they were in another jurisdiction. 

What businesses are allowed to open and under what restrictions?

Most businesses in Nova Scotia are able to open. Masks continue to be required in public indoor spaces and everyone age 12 and over is required to provide proof of full vaccination in order to participate in most activities that bring groups of people together (ie: restaurants, theatres, events).

Many sectors had approved COVID-19 sector-specific plans that had the force of law under the public health order. They will no longer be included in the public health order but this is important guidance for these sectors.

Effective December 22, 2021, the following restrictions will be in place:

Physical distance and mask requirements

 

  • physical distance of two metres (six feet) is required indoors and outdoors, except among people in the same household or a consistent social group of up to 10 people
  • masks are required in areas of workplaces where physical distance cannot be achieved, as well as common areas, areas where people are serving the public and areas with poor ventilation
  • people must be seated to remove their mask for eating or drinking; at movie theatres, they must go to a designated area for eating and drinking
  • all other mask requirements for indoor public places remain, including wearing them when seated for other activities
  • individuals, businesses and organizations all have responsibility for ensuring mask requirements are followed and can all be subject to enforcement action.
  • individuals, businesses and organizations all have responsibility for ensuring mask requirements are followed and can all be subject to enforcement action

Gathering limits

  • indoor and outdoor informal gatherings, typically at home, are limited to 10 people from the same household or consistent social group; physical distance and proof of full vaccination are not required; masks are not required except in indoor public places
  • only virtual events are allowed - there are no in-person events such as festivals, special events (including receptions), sports games or tournaments, or arts and culture performances 
  •  a limit of 10 participants indoors and 25 outdoors applies to sports practices and training; physical distance is not required, and masks are recommended when possible indoors and outdoors; spectators are not allowed
  • a limit of 10 participants indoors and 25 outdoors applies to professional and amateur arts and culture rehearsals and virtual performances; professionals must have a plan for their workplace; physical distance is not required, and masks are recommended when possible indoors and outdoors; spectators and competitions are not allowed
  • Nova Scotia children ages 11 and younger continue to be restricted from participating in sports and arts and culture events outside the province
  • gathering limits of 25 per cent of capacity to a maximum of 50 people indoors and outdoors apply to social gatherings, regular faith services, wedding ceremonies, funeral ceremonies and their associated visitation, movie theatres, meetings and training that are hosted by a recognized business or organization, including faith organizations
  • regular in-person faith services can only have one person singing; no choirs or congregational singing are allowed
  • drive-in regular faith services are allowed with no limit on the number of vehicles; the informal gathering limit applies inside each vehicle
  • indoor and outdoor informal wedding ceremonies and faith gatherings, typically at home, are limited to 10 people from the same household or consistent social group, plus one officiant; physical distance and proof of full vaccination are not required; masks are not required except in indoor public places
  • indoor and outdoor funeral ceremonies with a maximum of 10 people, plus officiant and funeral home staff, are allowed without proof of full vaccination but masks and physical distance are required; proof of full vaccination is still required for any visitation

Businesses

  • places like retail businesses, malls, museums, libraries and recreation and leisure businesses and organizations can operate at 50 per cent capacity with physical distance; some examples under recreation and leisure include dance and music lessons, climbing facilities, escape rooms, indoor play places, arcades, golf, shooting ranges and dog training
  • fitness and recreation facilities can operate at 50 per cent capacity with physical distance; personal training is allowed with as much physical distance as possible
  • personal services like hair salons can operate at the maximum capacity possible with physical distancing but cannot offer services that require removing masks
  • food establishments and liquor-licensed establishments can operate at 50 per cent capacity, they must have physical distance between tables; barriers may only be used to achieve 50 per cent capacity but not exceed it; there is a limit of 10 people per table; they must stop dine-in service at 11 p.m. and close by midnight; takeout, drive-thru and delivery can operate later; only one performer is allowed
  • Casino Nova Scotia and First Nations gaming centres can operate at 50 per cent capacity; people playing VLTs must be at least two metres (6 feet) apart; these gaming establishments must stop dine-in service at 11 p.m. and close by midnight
  • activities like cards, darts, pool, bowling and karaoke follow the rules for the setting where they take place, either in licensed establishments or recreation and leisure businesses

Stay up to date on COVID-19 guidelines at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/.
 

What should I include in the COVID-19 operating plan for my business/workplace/organization?

If you’re in an industry that has an association, check with them first to find out if they have a plan for your industry. If not, there is information online (https://novascotia.ca/reopening-nova-scotia/). Also, here are some things to consider, depending on the nature of your business:

  • Support people with their personal measures (e.g. handwashing/sanitizer, tissues/waste baskets, public washrooms, shower before entering swimming pool)
  • Support physical distancing with measures such as limiting the number of people, floor markings, telework, live streaming
  • Use non-medical masks when physical distancing cannot be maintained
  • Use PPE in the workplace as determined based on a risk assessment by an employer or individual
  • Screen/assess for symptoms of COVID-19 (active or passive)
  • Use physical barriers (e.g., plexiglass) when physical distancing cannot be maintained
  • Increase cleaning (washrooms, common spaces, high-touch surfaces, shared equipment)
  • Consider no touch options for bathrooms
  • Increase ventilation such as keeping doors and windows open where possible
  • Increase protective measures for vulnerable populations such as retail hours just for seniors
  • Consider managing merchandise with fewer items available for display/touching. Frequently clean items that are on display
  • Keep a record of clients’ appointments
  • Replace items that customers would often shared with single-use items (e.g., menus)
  • Avoid or manage lineups where possible
  • Consider doing outdoor business where feasible (e.g., sidewalk sales)
  • Keep the environment quiet so people don’t have to raise their voices to be heard
  • Offer hand sanitizer, tissues, and waste baskets in highly visible places

The Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia (TIANS), in partnership with Tourism Nova Scotia, is offering tourism businesses guidance and support through the Tourism Reactivation of Industry Program (TRI) to rebuild business, adapt to the evolving tourism environment, and build consumer confidence.

Services available to tourism businesses include:

  • Guidance to develop a health and safety plan and protocols for their business in accordance with Nova Scotia’s public health protocols;
  • Counselling and support to adapt their business practices to meet the demands of their customers in the current tourism environment; and
  • Advisory services from financial experts regarding financing options, available government supports, and financial planning to help strengthen their business going forward.

For more information, please contact training@tourism.ca or visit https://tourismstrong.ca/rebuilding/tri/.

Are there guidelines for keeping my business clean that are specific to the tourism industry?

The Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia (TIANS), in partnership with Tourism Nova Scotia, is offering a new Clean it Right training program that provides tourism businesses with clearly defined policies and procedures for cleaning and disinfecting their facilities.

Learn About the Clean it Right Program

The program is available online at no cost for the tourism industry for a limited time. Register at https://nstourismstrong.ca/clean-it-right/

Can I host an event/festival?

As of December 22, 2021 and until at least January 12, 2022, only virtual events are allowed - there are no in-person events such as festivals, special events (including receptions), sports games or tournaments, or arts and culture performances.

In addition, people who are 12 and older need to provide proof of full vaccination to attend discretionary events and activities.

Businesses hosting events need to recognize that measures to prevent respiratory illnesses are part of their occupational health and safety responsibilities to their employees and patrons. Many of the safety measures they’ve been taking for COVID-19 to date should continue. See https://events.novascotia.ca/covid-19-advice-for-events

Where are people required to wear masks/face coverings in Nova Scotia?

Wearing a non-medical mask is required in most indoor public places and some outdoor public places in Nova Scotia. Children under two are exempt, as well as children two to four when their caregiver can't get them to wear a mask. People with a valid medical reason for not wearing a mask are also exempt.

For more information, including a full list of locations where masks are required, please visit https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/masks/ 
 

What happens if someone refuses to put on a mask or takes it off once they go inside? Can they be refused service or kicked out?

Businesses, workplaces, and other owners with public places can develop their own policies and procedures. They can choose to refuse entry or service to people who are not following the rules.

What is Nova Scotia’s proof of vaccination policy? How long will it be in place?

As of October 4, anyone in Nova Scotia who is 12 and older will need to provide proof of full vaccination to participate in most events and activities that bring groups of people together. There are minimal exceptions. There isn’t an end date but it’s a short-term measure to allow large groups of people to gather together safely with no more formal gathering limits. It will allow us to continue moving forward with our reopening and have the best chance of staying open. See details in the protocol.

What activities/businesses will the vaccination policy apply to?

People need proof of full vaccination to go to or participate in discretionary, non-essential events, activities and services that gather people together, including but not limited to:

  • full-service restaurants where patrons sit at tables to be served, both indoors and on patios
  • food establishments (such as fast food and coffee shops) where people sit to eat/drink, both indoors and on patios (not including takeout, drive-thru or delivery)
  • liquor licensed (drinking) establishments (like bars, wineries, distillery tasting rooms, craft taprooms and liquor manufacturers)
  • casinos and gaming establishments, both indoors and on patios
  • fitness establishments (like gyms and yoga studios) and sport and recreation facilities (like arenas, pools and large multipurpose recreation facilities)
  • businesses and organizations offering indoor and outdoor recreation and leisure activities (like climbing facilities, dance classes, escape rooms, go-carts, indoor arcades, indoor play spaces, music lessons, pottery painting, shooting ranges and outdoor adventure)
  • indoor and outdoor festivals, special events and arts and culture events and activities (like theatre performances, concerts and movie theatres), unless they are outdoor events held in a public space with no specific entry point (like Nocturne)
  • indoor and outdoor sports practices, games, competitions and tournaments (participants and spectators)
  • indoor and outdoor extracurricular school-based activities, including sports
  • bus, boat and walking tours
  • museums, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and public library programs
  • indoor and outdoor events and activities like receptions, social events and conferences that are hosted by a business or organization
  • indoor and outdoor wedding ceremonies and funerals (including receptions and visitation) that are hosted by a business or organization
  • community meetings in rental spaces and/or where the public may be present, such annual general meetings of businesses or organizations
  • training hosted by a recognized business or organization (such as driver training or courses offered by a training business) and/or using a rental space

Proof of full vaccination is not required for most places that don’t host formal gatherings and that offer essential, non-discretionary services and activities. Some examples include:

  • retail stores
  • personal services like hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons and body art establishments
  • rental accommodations like hotel rooms, cottages and campgrounds (note, the policy does apply to restaurants/dining rooms at accommodations, as well as events hosted at hotels)
  • business meetings and other activities in the workplace when they involve people who regularly work together and where the general public is not present (unless it’s in a rental space)
  • legislatively required meetings where public participation cannot be done virtually (such as municipal council meetings where citizens have a democratic right to participate)
  • safety training that is required for a person’s job and cannot be done virtually
  • informal gatherings at a private residence (gathering limit of 25 indoors and 50 outdoors)
     
Will the proof of vaccination policy apply to employees? What about volunteers?

Proof of full vaccination is not required for full-time or part-time staff of businesses and organizations that host events and activities where participants are required to show their proof. However, if an employee accesses the event or activity on their own time, this protocol applies to them. Proof of full vaccination is required for volunteers who host, lead or organize the events and activities where participants are required to show their proof. Some examples include people who organize community events and programs, lead or organize club type activities, and coaches, referees and other officials who volunteer with sports activities.

Can a business or organization have a vaccine policy that is stricter than the provincewide policy?

A business or organization could choose to set a vaccine policy that is stricter than the provincewide policy. However, we’ve designed the provincewide protocol to balance safety with some reasonable exceptions. Any policies should take legal and ethical implications into consideration. People who are not fully vaccinated need to be able to access essential services.

Who is responsible to check proof of vaccination?

Some businesses and organizations that host events and activities covered under Section 3.1 of this protocol rent or use space within a building. In these cases, there is a joint responsibility between the business or organization and the building owner/manager. The building owner/manager needs to ensure renters and users of their spaces have proper processes in place for checking proof of full vaccination for participants in these events and activities. They can accomplish this through their rental agreement.

In cases where the renter or user of the owner/manager is not willing or capable of implementing a proper process for checking participants’ proof of full vaccination, the owner/manager will be held responsible if there is demonstrated non-compliance with this protocol. If the owner/manager does not wish to take on the responsibility, they should not rent the space or make it available for the event or activity. The owner/manager cannot have the renter or user of the space sign a waiver absolving them of the responsibility.

If a business or organization that does not host events and activities covered under Section 3.1 of this protocol rents or uses a space in a building, they continue to be exempt from requiring proof of vaccination, even if events or activities in other parts of the building require it.

How do businesses and organizations know what is valid proof of full vaccination?

The proof of full vaccination protocol outlines what fully vaccinated means and what information is required on records to prove full vaccination. There is also a guide for businesses and organizations that gives step by step instructions and a guide for the public on what to expect when going places where proof of full vaccination is required.

Businesses and organizations can also use the VaxCheckNS scanner app on their smartphone or other devices like a tablet to scan the unique QR code on a paper or digital version of person’s proof of vaccination. VaxCheckNS is available as free download in the App Store for Apple devices and Google Play for other devices. No special equipment is required.

Is proof of full vaccination required for hotel pools, gyms, bars and restaurants?

Proof of full vaccination is required for both guests and members of the public who wish to use hotel pools, gyms, bars, and restaurants (including dining rooms at B&Bs). An accommodation can provide room service to guests who are not fully vaccinated. Guests can also get takeout and delivery from other food establishments.