New Regulation Updates

New updates as of January 4, 2021

Under the new Emergency Order all restaurants in Nova Scotia must abide by the following restrictions:

  • Maximum table size will be 10
  • Liquor service must stop at 10:00PM with patrons leaving by 11:00PM
  • There are no capacity limits other than maintaining  a minimum physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) or a physical barrier between tables, booths and single seats.
  • Restaurateurs are required to maintain a log containing the name and email address/phone number of at least one patron per party.

New updates as of December 31, 2020

Restaurants and licensed establishments in areas of Halifax Regional Municipality and Hants County can reopen for dine-in service starting January 4, 2021.

They must follow the provincewide restrictions, including ending service by 10 p.m. and closing by 11 p.m. They can continue takeout, delivery and drive-thru service with no restrictions. 

New updates as of December 16, 2020

Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, announced today, Dec. 16, that current restrictions in areas of Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and Hants County are extended, and new restrictions will be in place provincewide over the holidays to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Today's restrictions update:
-- the current restrictions in areas of Halifax Regional Municipality and Hants County are extended until 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 20
-- the closure of restaurants and licensed establishments for dine-in service in these areas is extended until 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 10; they can continue to offer takeout and delivery service
-- the Halifax casino will also remain closed until 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 10
-- new provincewide restrictions for gatherings, businesses and activities, as well as changes to long-term care restrictions will start Dec. 21 and be in place until Jan. 10

For businesses:
-- restaurants and licensed establishments, outside the areas of HRM and Hants County noted above, must stop service by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m.
-- retail and shopping mall rules currently in place for areas of HRM and Hants County will extend to the entire province, including operating at 25 per cent of their capacity; their food courts can remain open with public health measures in place including physical distance between tables

The province is working with the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia on a pilot project for an app that dine-in restaurants and licensed establishments can use to collect patrons' contact information for contact tracing. This will help standardize collection practices, ensure privacy of information, and reduce the burden on businesses. It will also improve public health's ability to contact patrons as needed. The Department of Business is giving the association up to $100,000 for the project.

New updates as of November 24, 2020

New restrictions will come into force at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 26, and continue for two weeks until midnight Dec. 9, with a possibility of extension.

Nova Scotians are being asked to avoid non-essential travel:
-- in and out of western and central HRM (which is defined as HRM from Hubbards to, and including, Porters Lake and the communities up to Elmsdale and Mount Uniacke in Hants County - see for boundaries).
-- to other Atlantic provinces

The following will apply to the parts of western and central HRM:

-- restaurants and licenced establishments are closed for in-person dining but may provide take-out or delivery
-- wineries, distilleries and breweries cannot hold tastings or in-person dining and must follow retail rules in their stores (delivery and curbside pickup allowed)

New updates as of November 20, 2020

Guidelines Changes for the Restaurants & Bars

Announced today that the collection of names at restaurants & bars is mandatory (one person per group collecting 1. time/date of entry 2. name, 3. email or contact number). Information to be held for 30 days. The person who provides their contact information should be familiar with all in their group. Public Health would be the department that will contact you regarding names if required. Province wide!

Table size in all sit-down food/bar establishments will change from 10 persons per table to 5 persons per table starting Monday, Nov. 23 in HRM

New updates as of October 15, 2020

Extension of Service

Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia (RANS) & Restaurants Canada submitted a request for several changes for restaurants & bars regarding the existing protocols.

As of Friday, October 16, liquor licensed establishments will be allowed to remain open till 1:00 am. This means that alcohol will be allowed to be served until 1:00 am and all alcohol must be removed from tables by 2:00 am and patrons can remain on the premises until the normal closing hours for the liquor license.

New updates as of September 25, 2020

Revised order:

Section 11: allows restaurants and liquor licensed establishment to remain open until normal closing hours as long as food and alcohol are removed from tables by 1am.  This allows those places that might be showing a late night sports event such as Raptors game 7 or the upcoming UFC fight to allow patrons to remain to finish watching the game without having to seek an exemption from Dr. Strang.

Section 11.2: allows restaurant and liquor licensed establishment patrons to play darts and pool therein.

Section 11.3: prohibits restaurants and liquor licensed establishments from holding dart or pool tournaments.