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Nova Scotia’s Proof of Full Vaccination Policy

*as of September 15, 2021

Nova Scotia’s Proof of Full Vaccination (POV) Policy starts on October 4, 2021. When the policy is in effect, if you’re 12 and older, you need proof of full vaccination to participate in most events and activities that bring groups of people together.

Right now, Nova Scotia’s POV Policy isn’t finalized. Information may change and more details will be available before the policy is in effect.

A process is being developed to provide exceptions for people who can’t get vaccinated because of a valid medical or behavioural reason.

POV Key Points

Q. How does this affect activities/events/settings?

A. The POV policy will apply primarily to venues and settings that facilitate gathering of 2+ people that could also be considered discretionary.

Q. How does this affect staff?

A. Staff will not be included in the POV policy, however employers are responsible to ensure the safety of their employees and may choose to put workplace policies in place such as a vaccine policy or continued use of PPE. For information on establishing a vaccine policy for your workplace, this video provides helpful guidance.

Q. What about those newly eligible 12-year-olds?

A. Children who turned 12 between January 1 and October 4, 2021 will have until December 31 to attend events and activities while they get vaccinated. Children who turn 12 after October 4 will have three months from their birthday.

Q. Will there be any exceptions?

A. There will be an exception process that will apply to valid medical or behaviour reasons.

Q. In which types of activities/events/settings does POV apply?

A. Starting October 4, 2021, individuals will need proof of full vaccination to go to or participate in:

  • full-service restaurants where patrons sit at tables to be served, both indoors and on patios
  • liquor licensed establishments, casinos and other gaming establishments, both indoors and on patios
  • indoor and outdoor fitness and recreation facilities such as gyms, yoga studios, pools and arenas, as well as fitness classes
  • indoor and outdoor leisure facilities and businesses such as dance and music lessons, climbing facilities, escape rooms, pottery painting,
  • indoor play places, arcades, shooting ranges, go-carts and outdoor adventure
  • indoor and outdoor festivals, special events, and arts and culture events and venues such as theatre performances, concerts and movies
  • theatres, unless they are outdoor events held in public spaces with no specific entry point, such as Lumiere
  • participants and spectators for indoor and outdoor sports practices, games, competitions and tournaments
  • bus, boat and walking tours
  • museums, public libraries and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
  • indoor and outdoor events and activities such as receptions, social events, conferences and training that are hosted by a recognized business or organization
  • indoor and outdoor wedding and funeral ceremonies, receptions and visitation that are hosted by a recognized business or organization

Proof of vaccination isn’t required under the Proof of Full Vaccination Policy for the staff of businesses and organizations that offer the events and activities.

Q. In which types of activities/events/settings does POV not apply?

A. Proof of vaccination isn’t required for most places that don’t host formal gatherings, including these tourism settings:

  • retail stores
  • food establishments that primarily offer fast food, takeout and delivery
  • personal services such as hair salons, barber shops, spas and body art
  • rental accommodations such as hotel rooms, cottages and campgrounds
  • business meetings and other activities where the general public is not present

Q. What if I was vaccinated outside of Nova Scotia? How can I show proof of full vaccination?

A. Effective October 1, there will be a process to ensure that NS residents who were vaccinated outside NS’s vaccine program can get a NS POV.

Q. How does this affect business and organization vaccination policies?

A. Businesses and organizations can set their own vaccination policies. Any policies should take legal and ethical implications into consideration. People who are not fully vaccinated need to be able to access essential services. For information on establishing a vaccine policy for your workplace, this video provides helpful guidance.

Q. What are the next steps?

A. The Province will be reaching out over the coming days for industry feedback and to understand any potential operational considerations. As more is known, they will continue to work with sectors/sector associations to roll out information and support.

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