State of Emergency FAQs

On Sunday, March 22, 2020, Premier Stephen McNeil declared a public state of emergency (SOE) for Nova Scotia. According to Canada’s Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, a state of emergency is a present event that requires quick action to protect the health, safety, and welfare of people and to limit damage to property or the environment. The SOE order is to ensure the health and safety of Nova Scotians and will be in effect for 14 days.

To view the full public health order being enforced under the state of emergency, click here. 

SOE FAQs

A state of emergency is a situation in which a government is empowered to perform actions or impose policies that it would not normally undertake. During a state of emergency, police are authorized to enforce orders under the Health Protection Act related to self-isolation and social-distancing.

A public state of emergency is declared when a province is encountering an emergency that requires prompt action to prevent harm or damage to the safety, health or welfare of the province’s citizens.

On Sunday, March 22 Premier Stephen McNeil declared a public state of emergency for Nova Scotia to help contain the spread of COVID-19. During a state of emergency, police are authorized to enforce orders under the Health Protection Act related to self-isolation and social-distancing.

The following Province-wide decisions have been made as a result of the state of emergency:

  • All Provincial and municipal parks and beaches are closed to all. All travel into those parks and beaches is strictly prohibited.
  • All those entering the province will be checked at the border. 
  • Police will be enforcing orders under the Health Protection Act related to self-isolation and social-distancing.
  • Fines for violating orders under the Act for individuals start at $1,000 per violation, per day; businesses and corporations face fines starting at $7,500 per violation, per day.

The following restrictions are in place under the Authority of the Health Protection Act:

  • There are to be no gatherings of more than 5 people
  • Organizations and businesses are required to practice social distancing of at least 6 feet. 
  • Restaurants are restricted to take-out and delivery only. 
  • Long-term care facilities are closed to all visitors. 
  • All those returning to Nova Scotia from anywhere outside the province will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

The state of emergency will be in effect for 14 days and may be renewed. The emergency order is valid until April 5, 2020.