Coronavirus Information

Discover Halifax is closely monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and continues to update this page regularly.

Discover Halifax is closely monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We are committed to offering our visitors, members and community the most accurate and up-to-date information on the novel coronavirus to assist in your business and travel plans.

Our main goal is to share information that can help keep you healthy and informed. 

Status of cases

» Find up-to-date COVID-19 testing data for Nova Scotia here.

Travel

An official global travel advisory is in effect: Canadians are being asked to avoid all non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.

If you do choose to travel, check the latest health notices to understand the risk associated with your destination. As of March 25, 2020, it is also mandatory for Canadians, with the exception of essential workers, to self-isolate under the Quarantine Act.

» Check the Pandemic COVID-19 travel health notice.
» Check Travel Advice and Advisories for more information.

The most up-to-date travel information can be found directly via the following links:

Halifax International Airport
Canada Border Services Agency
Cruise Line International Association
VIA Rail Canada

Risk to travellers

The Province of Nova Scotia announced a state of emergency in response to COVID-19 on March 22, 2020, which remains in effect currently.

As a result, all points of entry into Nova Scotia have been tightened. Anyone entering the province must self-isolate for a period of 14 days, with few exceptions, even if you are not experiencing symptoms.

Travellers who are aged 65 and older, have a compromised immune system, and/or underlying medical conditions are at higher risk to COVID-19, regardless of the destination. 

We know Halifax will continue to be a safe destination to visit in the future because we took swift action. The best advice to travellers, right now, is to stay home.

Symptoms to watch for

Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. The list of possible symptoms have been expanded to include: 

  • fever (chills, sweats)
  • cough or worsening of a previous cough
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • shortness of breath
  • muscle aches
  • sneezing
  • nasal congestion or runny nose
  • hoarse voice
  • diarrhea
  • unusual fatigue
  • loss of sense of smell or taste
  • red, purple or blueish lesions on the feet, toes or fingers without clear cause

Some people who have COVID-19 have little to no symptoms, or think they have a cold or flu. For people with severe cases, the infection could require hospitalization, or lead to death. 

What to do if you’re feeling unwell

Travellers entering Nova Scotia must self-isolate for a period of 14 days and monitor their health for symptoms. If you develop symptoms, or think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, call 811 for assessment by a nurse. You may be referred to a COVID-19 assessment centre if there is a need for an in-person assessment. Please do not go to a COVID-19 assessment centre without a referral from 811. 

If language is a barrier, please consult with your tour operator or accommodation providers, as they may be able to contact a health-care professional on your behalf. 

If you are feeling unwell, the most important thing to do is self-isolate from the public for a period of 14 days:

• Avoid close contact with people with chronic conditions, compromised immune systems and older adults.
• Avoid entertaining guests in your home.
• Avoid situations like social gatherings, work, school, daycare.
• Do not visit other people who are in a healthcare facility or long-term care residence.
• Limit taking public transit, taxis and ride sharing.
• Wash your hands often with soap and warm water frequently for at least 20 seconds; use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
• Cover your mouth and nose with your arm or a tissue when coughing or sneezing; throw the tissue away. 

Preventative measures

Local businesses and event venues are taking preventative measures and enhancing health protocols to protect our community and visitors. The World Health Organization (WHO) has offered the following operational guidance to the accommodation sector for preventative measures.

A number of public spaces and venues have temporarily closed, and some are preparing to reopen as of June 5, 2020. If there is a local establishment you plan to visit, please call ahead. Follow health protocols such as wearing a mask, physical distancing, and washing your hands frequently.

• The provincial government is limiting gatherings to be five people or less (effective: March 22, 2020)

• Provincial parks and day-use beaches are now open, however, some tourist attractions remain closed (effective: March 22, 2020)

• Restaurants are only offering take-out and delivery service. Many are expected to reopen on June 5, 2020 without reduced dine-in spaces or patios. Some bars and drinking establishments will also re-open with appropriate health measures.

• Nova Scotia museum sites, including the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, and the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park, are all currently closed (effective: March 14, 2020)

• Parks Canada will begin a safe and gradual reopening on June 1, 2020 of some parks and historic sites.

Check the closures page for up-to-date provincial government office and facility closures.

Event cancellations

Under the state of emergency implemented on March 22, 2020, the Province of Nova Scotia is prohibiting gatherings of more than five people. This means all event organizers have appropriately postponed their events.

If you have a business event that has been impacted, Discover Halifax is here to help. Please contact our meetings & conventions team for assistance to Host it in Halifax when it is safe to do so.