Nova Scotia to Lift All COVID-19 Restrictions in March

Vaccine passport will be removed on Feb. 28
By Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.
February 23, 2022Updated: February 23, 2022

Nova Scotia is set to remove the vaccine passport system by the end of February, while all other COVID-19 restrictions will end on March 21, Premier Tim Houston said.Epoch Times Photo

“Assuming everything stays on course, effective March 21 all remaining COVID restrictions in Nova Scotia will be gone,” he said on Feb. 23 during a press conference, adding that this is an announcement for “a return to normalcy.”

“No matter the emotions you are experiencing right now, we can all agree this has been a long, long run.”

He said the proof of vaccination mandate in the province will be the first to go on Feb. 28.

“The proof of vaccine has served its purpose, it has served Nova Scotians well, but it was only ever meant as a temporary measure and its time has come,” Houston said.

Previously, only fully-vaccinated residents in the province were allowed to participate in “discretionary activities,” such as dining in a restaurant, going to fitness facilities, and participating in sports, arts, and cultural events.

Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said the other public health restrictions will be lifted gradually according to Nova Scotia’s three-step reopening plan, though the province will begin the plan’s Phase 2 one week earlier on March 7 with some adjustments.

“Effective March 7, restaurants and bars, fitness facilities, and movie theaters will be able to operate at 75 percent capacity with distancing as much as can be achieved within their specific physical space, and the same goes for events including tournaments and competitions, faith gatherings, receptions, meetings, and so on,” Strang said.

Private indoor gatherings will remain limited at 25 people, but increase to 50 outdoors.

Masks will still be required in indoor public places, but starting March 7, people can remove their masks to eat or drink while they remain seated at events like a movie, a concert, or a sports event.

Starting March 7, people who test positive for COVID-19 will no longer be asked to tell close contacts outside their own household, though they are still required to self-isolate.

Phase 2 is set to last for weeks before the province enters Phase 3 on March 21.

At this stage, there will be no more capacity limits and masking will no longer be required in public spaces.

Public schools will keep their cohorting, masking, and distancing plans until March break, which begins March 14.

When students return to classes on March 21, there will be no restrictions or measures. Physical distancing will not be required as well.

Strang said the restrictions won’t change in public schools until Phase 3, and the measures that are in place now, such as cohorting and masking, will stay the same until March break. But when students and teachers return to school on March 21, “it will be to schools and classrooms with no restrictions or required measures,” he said.

In a post on Twitter, the premier said the COVID-19 restrictions are “a balancing act between keeping people safe and preventing other harms,” which he said “we knew we wouldn’t need them forever.”

“It’s time to stop pulling the big levers, like broad restrictions, and shift to personal actions and responsibility,” Houston said.

Officials said the government is working to update the provincial website with the latest announcement. In a separate Twitter post, Houston has shared the details of the reopening plan.

“We all know what to do to protect ourselves and one another, and it’s time to get back to the people and things we love,” he said.