Nova Scotia’s Proof of Vaccine Policy: What You Need to Know

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Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 proof of vaccination system began Monday, requiring people to show proof that they are fully vaccinated before being allowed into non-essential locations across the province.

People habit must show anything to enter what the province has deemed essential, including grocery stores, pharmacies, health services, banks, stores, any place where government services are offered, religious services and much other places.

People will must show physical or digital proof that they have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to enter restaurants, bars, sports venues, gyms, theaters, cinemas and casinos, among other places ” non-essential “. The second dose must have arrived 14 days before the date you are trying to enter the facility.

A full list of both categories is available online.

People will also need to show some ID to confirm that the vaccination record is theirs. It does not have to be photo ID. People can use their driver’s license, passport, medicare card, birth certificate, student card, or certificate of Indian status.

People can show the physical cards, photocopies, digital versions or clear photos or screenshots of the ID and proof of vaccination document.

Nova Scotians can use a photo or screenshot of their proof of vaccination or print it out. (Government of Nova Scotia)

The rules only apply to people 12 years of age and older. People who are not permanent residents of Nova Scotia may show proof of vaccination and identification from their province, territory or country of origin.

Proof of vaccination

Nova Scotians can download their proof of vaccination from this provincial government website or by calling 1-833-797-7772. You need your health insurance card to log on to the site. Once you’ve downloaded the certificate that says you’ve received two doses of the vaccine, you can either print a hard copy or store it on your phone.

You can show your ID in card, paper and digital formats, along with clear photos, screenshots and photocopies.

Where you don’t need it

People not need to show ID or proof of vaccination to enter most places that do not host formal gatherings and places that offer essential services, such as:

  • retail stores
  • financial institutions
  • professional services like accountants and lawyers
  • personal services such as hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons and body art establishments
  • health services and health professions such as doctor’s offices, dental care, massage therapy and physiotherapy
  • rental accommodation such as hotel rooms, cabins and campgrounds
  • religious services
  • Kindergarten to Grade 12 school activities and outings that take place during the school day (unless a school trip is for an event or activity where full proof of vaccination is required), before and after school programs and buses school
  • post-secondary institutions (universities, NSCC, private career colleges and language schools) unless they organize events or activities that are attended by the public
  • mental health and addiction support groups
  • business meetings and other workplace activities involving people who regularly work together and where the public is not present (except in a rented space)
  • legally required meetings where public participation cannot be done virtually (such as city council meetings where citizens have a democratic right to participate)
  • safety training that is required for a person’s job and cannot be done virtually
  • places where government services are available (such as Access Nova Scotia)
  • food banks, shelters, family resource centers and adult day programs for seniors and people with disabilities
  • programs and services for vulnerable populations that cannot be offered virtually (unless meals are provided; meals can only be provided by take-out or delivered to people who cannot show full proof of vaccination)
  • informal meetings in a private residence
  • general access to public libraries (such as borrowing books and using computers)
  • public transport

Where you need it

People to do need to show ID and proof of vaccination at non-essential events and locations that bring groups together, such as:

  • full-service restaurants where guests sit at tables to be served, both indoors and on patios
  • dining establishments (such as fast food outlets and cafes) where people sit down to eat and drink, both indoors and on terraces (excluding take-out, drive-thru or delivery)
  • licensed alcoholic beverage establishments (such as bars, wineries, distillery tasting rooms, craft tap rooms, and liquor makers), both indoors and on patios
  • casinos and gaming establishments, indoors and on patios
  • fitness facilities (such as gymnasiums and yoga studios) and sports and recreational facilities (such as arenas, swimming pools, and large multi-purpose recreation facilities)
  • businesses and organizations offering indoor and outdoor recreation and leisure activities (such as climbing facilities, dance lessons, escape rooms, go-karts, indoor arcades, indoor play areas, music lessons, pottery painting, shooting ranges and outdoor adventures)
  • indoor and outdoor festivals, special events and artistic and cultural events (such as theatrical performances, concerts and cinemas), unless they are outdoor events held in a public space without a specific entry point ( as Nocturne)
  • indoor and outdoor sports practices, games, competitions and tournaments (participants and spectators)
  • indoor and outdoor extra-curricular activities, including sports
  • excursions by bus, boat and on foot
  • museums, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and public library programs
  • indoor and outdoor events and activities such as receptions, social events, conferences and trainings organized by a company or organization
  • indoor and outdoor wedding and funeral ceremonies (including receptions and visits) organized by a business or organization
  • community meetings in rental spaces or where the public can be present (such as annual general meetings of companies or organizations)
  • training hosted by a company or organization (such as driver training or courses offered by a company that offers training) and any training using rental space

Dr Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, said businesses and people who break the rules could face substantial fines.

He said workplaces can develop their own proof of vaccination policies. People should always wear masks indoors in public places, including essential places.

“It’s the unvaccinated people who put enormous strain on our health care system and because of this in other parts of the country there are a lot of people with non-COVID health care who cannot getting the care they need and their lives are at risk, ”Strang told CBC News.

“It is about doing what is necessary to ensure our mutual security and to protect our health care system.”

The province did not say how long the new policy will last.

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