Self-Isolation Requirements Related to Travel
What are the changes?
Effective November 9, if a person travels when it is not necessary and enters Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada, they must self-isolate in a place that is completely separate from everyone else in the home. If no such space is available, everyone in the home must self-isolate for 14 days as well. Nobody in that home can leave the property and they cannot have visitors.
Why is this coming into effect now?
With cases of COVID-19 rising, particularly due to travel, we are asking people to avoid all travel that is not necessary into and out of the Atlantic provinces. We are asking people to focus on protecting others.
What is considered necessary travel?
We consider travel to be necessary in the following situations: • people who must travel for work that cannot be done virtually and doesn’t meet the criteria for rotational work • legal custody arrangements that require parents or children to travel for visits • essential, specialized health care treatment that is not available in Atlantic Canada • participating in an essential legal proceeding outside Atlantic Canada when virtual attendance is not possible • students studying outside of Atlantic Canada who’s primary or family residence is in Nova Scotia
In these cases, if the traveler can follow a strict protocol that allows for some careful sharing of spaces, then the entire household does not need to self-isolate. They must complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in. For the 14-day isolation period the person who traveled for necessary reasons must: • stay at their place of residence • have their own separate room in the home (such as a separate bedroom, basement or attic) • sanitize hands before leaving the separate room and wear a non-medical mask when outside their separate room • avoid being in the same space as other household members • have their own bathroom or use the following cleaning protocol for a shared bathroom: clean high touch surfaces (such as doorknobs, taps, toilet handle, sink, etc.) after each use • have food and beverages prepared by others and made available in a non-contact manner • not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items with others in the home • keep your personal items (such as toothbrush, cups, cell phones, tablets or laptops) separate from those belonging to others • not share food, drinks or cigarettes or any other items that are put in the mouth
If this protocol cannot be followed, the traveler must either find another location to self-isolate or the entire household must self-isolate.
What does unnecessary travel mean?
Some examples of travel that is not necessary are vacations, visits, business matters that could be done virtually or by someone else outside the bubble, picking up or dropping off non-essential items, and so on.
If the home has a completely separate living space such as a self-contained basement where the traveler can self-isolate, does the rest of the household need to self-isolate as well?
If there is a safe and completely isolated section of a home where the traveller can self-isolate, then other people living there do not have to self-isolate as well. The traveller must have their own bathroom in that contained space, they cannot share one with anyone who is not isolating with them.
There must be no shared living space with other people in the home. They cannot go into other parts of the home during the day when other members of the household are out. Other people in the home can deliver food and supplies to the isolating traveler in a non-contact manner.
If this kind of space is not available and everyone in the home is sharing living spaces, then either the traveler must find another location to self-isolate or everyone in the home must self-isolate for 14 days. Nobody is allowed to leave the property.
If we have an apartment in our home with a separate entrance, can a person use that as their self-isolation location?
Yes, that would be considered the same as an apartment in any other building.
Is this retroactive? I have someone staying with me now who is self-isolating.
No, this is not retroactive. If someone is part way through their self-isolation as of November 9, others in the home do not need to self-isolate. Everyone must monitor themselves closely for symptoms of COVID-19, immediately self-isolate if they feel unwell, and complete the online COVID-19 self-assessment to determine if they need to get tested. Anyone who can’t do the assessment online can call 811.
If a traveler did the first four days of their self-isolation in a hotel and is finishing it in a home, do the people living their complete 10 days of self-isolation or 14?
First, people should do their entire self-isolation in one place, they should not switch locations part way through. That said, we know this sometimes has to happen. If it does, then the people living in the home must self-isolate for 14 days from the time the traveler arrives in the home, unless there is a completely separate living space with a bathroom where the traveler can self-isolate.
Can the self-isolating traveler go outside in the yard? Can they go for a walk?
If there is a separate entrance to the self-isolation space, then the traveler can go outside without leaving the property. They must stay at least 2 metres/6 feet away from other people. They cannot leave the property to go for a walk.
If there is no separate entrance, they must remain indoors in their self-isolation location. Otherwise, they risk coming in contact with other people living in the home.
If I pick up a traveler from the airport and drive them to their own separate living space for self-isolation, do I have to self-isolate too?
No, you don’t need to self-isolate. You should both wear non-medical masks and sit as far apart as possible in the vehicle.
Does this apply to international travelers entering Nova Scotia from outside Canada?
Anyone coming from outside of Canada falls under the federal Quarantine Act and will require permission from the federal government to enter the country. They must follow self-isolation requirements in the Quarantine Act. It does not require the entire household to self-isolate with the traveler. Contact Canada Border Services Agency at 1-888-957-7224 or email@example.com for information.
Does this change anything for someone who has a modified form of self-isolation?
There are no changes for: • specialized workers who must self-isolate when they are not performing their critical, urgent work • people who have exceptions to attend a funeral or be with an immediate family member who is nearing end of life but must self-isolate when not doing these activities
Does this apply to rotational workers?
Rotational workers continue to have modified self-isolation, which includes contact with people in their households until further notice.
However, a rotational worker or a member of the rotational worker’s household chooses to travel for non-essential reasons, the entire household (including the rotational worker) must self-isolate, unless there is a completely separate living space with a bathroom where the traveler can self-isolate.
Does this apply to people who are exempt under the order like truckers, military, etc.?
There are no changes for people who are exempt from self-isolation under the public health order, such as military, police, first responders, truckers, flight crews, and others. See clause 3 of the public health order for a complete list.
However, if an exempt worker or a member of the exempt worker’s household chooses to travel for unnecessary reasons, the entire household (including the exempt worker) must self-isolate, unless there is a completely separate living space with a bathroom where the traveler can self-isolate.
What if a child travels for unnecessary reasons, do they have to remain completely isolated from their household?
When the traveler is a child who cannot reasonably self-isolate alone, the entire household must self-isolate.
I have a child custody arrangement with the child’s parent outside of Atlantic Canada. What does this mean for me and my child?
There are no changes for people who are exempt from self-isolation under the public health order, such as those who are fulfilling a child custody arrangements or court ordered agreement.
As long as they don’t have symptoms, people are exempt from the self-isolation requirement when they are dropping off or picking up a child under a custody agreement. Entering and exiting the province within about 24 hours to drop off/pick up a child is what we mean by “facilitating child sharing” under a custody agreement.
However, if someone is traveling to visit a child or if a child travels for a visit, they (or their parent or guardian) must the complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in to enter the province from outside Atlantic Canada and they must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. They can follow the protocol for necessary travel outlined above.
If I self-isolate in someone’s house but don’t have any contact with them, can they go out in the community?
If you are sharing any living spaces, then everyone in the home must self-isolate for 14 days along with you. Nobody is allowed to leave the property.
If there is a completely separate living space with a bathroom where you can self-isolate, then the rest of the household does not have to self-isolate and is free to go to work, school, day care, grocery store, for a walk, etc.
People who travel because it is necessary can follow the protocol for necessary travel above.
Someone in my household is waiting for test results but we did not travel. Is the entire household required to self-isolate?
No. If someone in a home is waiting for a test result, other people who live there are not required to self-isolate.
I was planning on self-isolating at a friend/family member’s house, now I don’t have anywhere to self-isolate. What can you do to help?
We are asking people to avoid travel that is not necessary. If you choose to travel to Nova Scotia when it is not necessary, you and everyone in the household where you stay will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, unless there is a completely separate living space with a bathroom where the traveler can self-isolate.
My employer is saying that because I have someone self-isolating in my home who arrived before November 9, I cannot report to work. Can they do this?
While this new requirement is effective November 9, employers are free to set more stringent policies for their staff.
If someone in the home has already recovered from COVID-19, does that mean they are immune and do not need to self-isolate along with the traveler?
No, they have to self-isolate as well. We don’t yet know enough about immunity to COVID-19 to be sure there isn’t a risk of the traveler transmitting it to the person who had recovered.
If a household is self-isolating along with a traveler who arrived in the home part way through their self-isolation period, what happens if a member of the household develops symptoms? Does the traveler’s self-isolation period get extended?
If this happens, anyone who is still isolating must continue. Anyone who has finished isolation does not need to start again. The person with symptoms should complete the online COVID-19 self-assessment to determine if they need to get tested. Anyone who can’t do the assessment online can call 811.
Everyone should monitor themselves closely for symptoms while waiting for the test result. If the test result is positive, then everyone in the household needs to follow the direction that public health officials give them.
I have travel plans to Nova Scotia and I’ve completed the NS Safe Check-In form, but I want to cancel my trip. How can I delete my form?
If you have changed your travel plans and are no longer entering Nova Scotia, you can unsubscribe from the daily email check-in. You will need the email address you used to fill in the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form and the ID number you received once you completed it.
*Information provided by Emergency Management Office of Nova Scotia.