Starting at 8 a.m. on Friday, May 14, permanent Nova Scotia residents and people travelling for essential reasons must apply to enter the province.

“This application process means travellers will be certain before they leave that they are able to enter the province, as we limit who enters Nova Scotia to protect our citizens and health-care system from COVID-19,” said Premier Iain Rankin. “People who meet our criteria to enter Nova Scotia will have no problem getting through the approval process.”

People will apply through the established Nova Scotia Safe Check-in. They should apply about a week before they intend to travel. Applications will only be considered for permanent residents of Nova Scotia and people travelling for essential reasons.

Applications for child-custody visits and exempt travellers (such as military, first responders, airline crew and people accessing essential health services) will be approved automatically. All others will be reviewed within three business days. People cannot enter the province until they receive approval.

People who have already completed the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in do not have to re-apply if they are traveling up to and including May 19. Starting May 20, only approvals through the new process will be accepted.

“This approval does not change our 14-day self-isolation requirement. This remains the most important public health measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “We also strongly encourage people to get tested at the beginning and end of their isolation, and then make a regular habit of testing, just like washing hands and wearing masks.”

People can apply for an exception to move to Nova Scotia if they meet certain criteria, to write exams that cannot be deferred or done virtually, or to be with an immediate family member at end of life. Instructions for applying are available at:

Quick Facts:

Additional Resources:

COVID-19 self-assessment:

Nova Scotia coronavirus website: