Province-wide lockdown ordered (Apr 27 2021)

Premier Iain Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, announced today, April 27, new restrictions across the province to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“This is not the time for half measures,” said Premier Rankin. “We need strong, quick action to drive this virus out of our province. If we took an incremental approach, we’d likely end up in the same place. We need to regain control over this virus.”

The new restrictions include closing most retail businesses, reducing gatherings to household bubbles and closing public and private schools across the province.

“We are in a race between the variant and the vaccine,” said Dr. Strang. “There is substantive risk of community spread across the province. We need to slow that spread until we are closer to population immunity through our vaccination program.”

The following restrictions are effective 8 a.m. Wednesday, April 28, and will remain in effect until at least May 12:

Gatherings, schools and daycare

  • Nova Scotians can only gather indoors or outdoors with their household bubble, which is the people they live with
  • households of two or less people can socialize with one or two others but they must be the same people for this two-week period
  • no unnecessary travel between communities; a community is defined as the municipality where you live – people should stay as close to home as possible when accessing essential or necessary services or products
  • all public and private schools are closed
  • day cares will remain open, with the focus on providing service to those providing essential services or have no other child-care option; essential workers who need help to access childcare supports can contact or call 1-877-223-9555


  • mandatory masking for staff, visitors and children over two years old in indoor child-care settings
  • mandatory masking outdoors where physical distancing cannot be maintained, including playgrounds and parks
  • in private indoor workplaces such as offices or warehouses, masks are mandatory in all common areas, places where there is interaction with the public, areas with poor ventilation, and areas where distance cannot be maintained

Retail and business

  • retail stores are closed for in-person service unless those stores provide services essential to the life, health or personal safety of individuals and animals. These stores can remain open at 25 per cent capacity and include those that provide:
  • food
  • pharmaceutical products, medicine and medical devices
  • personal hygiene products
  • cleaning products
  • baby and child products
  • gas stations and garages
  • computer and cellphone service and repair
  • electronic and office supplies
  • hardware supplies
  • pet and animal supplies.
  • restaurants and licensed establishments are closed for dine-in service, but contactless take-out or delivery is allowed
  • Nova Scotia Liquor Commission stores can remain open at 25 per cent capacity
  • personal services such as hair salons, barber shops and spas are closed
  • regulated and unregulated health professions can remain open with an approved COVID-19 plan
  • Casino Nova Scotia in Halifax and Sydney and First Nations gaming establishments and VLTs must close

Events, recreation, arts and culture

  • wedding and funeral ceremonies can have five people, plus officiants
  • no social events, special events, festivals, arts/cultural events, sports events, faith gatherings, wedding receptions, or funeral visitation or receptions
  • no meetings or training except mental health and addictions support groups, which can have 10 people with physical distancing and masks
  • virtual gatherings and performances can be held with a maximum of five people in one location
  • all fitness, recreational and sports facilities are closed
  • licensed and unlicensed establishments cannot host activities such as darts, cards, pool and bowling
  • indoor fitness facilities like gyms and yoga studios and sport and recreation facilities like pools, arenas, tennis courts and large multipurpose recreation facilities are closed
  • businesses and organizations offering a wide variety of indoor recreation activities are closed, such as indoor play areas, arcades, climbing facilities, dance classes and music lessons
  • outdoor recreation activities, including individual sports, are allowed and encouraged; outdoor fitness and recreation businesses and organized clubs can operate with a maximum of five people and physical distancing
  • museums, libraries and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia are closed, but libraries can offer pick-up and drop-off of books and other materials

Long-term care/special care

  • there will be no visitors or volunteers allowed inside long-term care facilities except for designated care providers and no visits to the community
  • all adult day programs for seniors closed
  • all homes licensed by the Department of Community Service under the Homes for Special Care Act cannot have visitors and residents cannot have community access
  • all adult day programs for persons with disabilities funded by the Department of Community Services will be closed except for scheduled vaccine clinics at three of these programs

People who do not follow the public health measures can be fined. For example, the fine is now $2,000 for each person at an illegal gathering.

Quick Facts:

Additional Resources:

Government of Canada:

Government of Canada information line 1-833-784-4397 (toll-free)

The Mental Health Provincial Crisis Line is available 24/7 to anyone experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis, or someone concerned about them, by calling 1-888-429-8167 (toll-free)

If you need help with a non-crisis mental health or addiction concern call Community Mental Health and Addictions at 1-855-922-1122 (toll-free) weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Kids Help Phone is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free)

For help or information about domestic violence 24/7, call 1-855-225-0220 (toll-free)

For more information about COVID-19 testing and online booking, visit

Source: Release #notw

96 new COVID-19 cases (Apr 27 2021)

19 Potential COVID-19 exposure incidents (Apr 27 2021 report)