Self-isolation and testing
The Nova Scotia provincial government has established rules for post-secondary students arriving in the province from outside Atlantic Canada to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These rules are the law in Nova Scotia as part of the public health order under the Health Protection Act.
As the fall term gets underway at the province’s universities and NSCC, the requirement for COVID-19 testing is winding down. Please read the following update carefully.
Required travel form
All students entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada must complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in. This includes students coming from all other Canadian provinces/territories and from other countries. There is no change in this requirement.
All students entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. You must complete a daily digital check-in.
All students should note that if you leave Atlantic Canada (for Thanksgiving, for example) and return to Nova Scotia, you must self-isolate for 14 days upon your return and complete the daily digital check-in.
There is no change in this requirement.
Students arriving up to and including September 21, 2020:
- Must complete three COVID-19 tests during your self-isolation period and receive negative results before you can attend in-person classes.
- After you complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in, Nova Scotia Health will email you three COVID-19 test appointments and tell you the location for them.
- Your appointments will either be on campus or nearby. On-campus testing sites will remain open until October 5 to accommodate testing for these students.
Students arriving on or after September 22, 2020:
- Are not required to get COVID-19 testing during your 14-day self-isolation period if you do not have symptoms.
- If you already completed the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in with an arrival date of September 22 or later, you may receive communication that says you must get tested. If so, you can disregard this direction because testing will not be required in your case.
Anyone in Nova Scotia who thinks they have symptoms of COVID-19 should do the 811 online self-assessment and call 811 if necessary.
There are many other mandatory public health measures in place in Nova Scotia. Please familiarize yourself with the rules in Nova Scotia. We also encourage you to follow @nsgov and https://www.facebook.com/nsgov/ for the latest information.
We want to thank the post-secondary students who have arrived in Nova Scotia to date and have been complying with these rules. Your continued cooperation and commitment to following the public health rules and advice plays an important role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.
Below are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about self-isolation and testing requirements. If you cannot find an answer to your question in the FAQs, please connect with us by email.
University and NSCC students entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada up to and including September 21 must self-isolate for 14 days and get tested for COVID-19 three times. After that date, self-isolation is required but testing is not.
The Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) testing centre, located in the Homburg Centre remains open. The majority of SMU community members needing COVID-19 testing for any reason is being sent to this convenient site
Individual students don’t necessarily pose a greater risk than other people entering the province from outside Atlantic Canada. However, there were risks associated with a large number of young adults arriving within a short period of time. We instituted the testing protocol to manage that risk.
Setting one date is the least confusing option. September 21 is the latest start date for in-person classes in the province. Most students, if not all, who plan to attend in-person classes ought to be in the province and finished their self-isolation and testing by then. We will test any students who arrive up to and including that date.
At this time, we strongly recommend all students and families check Nova Scotia and Canada travel and quarantine directives frequently for the latest updates and changes.
After September 21, students entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada will be required to complete self-isolation but they will not be required to get tested.
Anyone who thinks they have symptoms of COVID-19 should do the 811 online self-assessment and call 811 if necessary.
We are currently evaluating the protocol that we required for university and NSCC students this fall. We will consider what we learned from this experience, as well as our testing capacity and the epidemiology in Nova Scotia and in other jurisdictions, to determine any future action.