The YMCA ensures that all its regulations meet public health recommendations and updates to maintain the safety of our members, staff, and volunteers.

Restriction Updates Dec.4,2020:

Premier Stephen McNeil and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang announced today, Dec. 4, that the current restrictions in areas of Halifax Regional Municipality and Hants County are extended until at least Dec. 16.

They also announced the launch of a period of asymptomatic testing across the province. The purpose is to limit the potential spread of the virus by detecting positive cases in people who do not have symptoms.

Testing is recommended for people who:

  • are 16 to 35 years old, even if they previously tested negative
  • have attended an indoor social gathering without physical distancing in the last two weeks, especially if it was larger than the gathering limits in place for that community
  • have a large number of regular social interactions with different groups without physical distancing

In addition, pop-up sites will continue in different locations around the province. Anyone age 16 or older is welcome to get tested if they do not have symptoms and are not at higher risk of exposure, which means they:

  • are not a close contact of a known case
  • have not been at a location listed in an exposure notice that recommends testing
  • have not traveled outside the Atlantic provinces within the past 14 days

People getting tested through this process are not required to self-isolate while waiting for their test or results. People getting tested for other reasons can find their self-isolation requirements at

The new restrictions came into force at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 26, and will continue until at least Dec.16.

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:

  • the gathering limit in public is five (or up to the number of members of an immediate family in a household)
  • mandatory masking now applies to common areas of multi-unit residential buildings, such as apartment buildings and condos
  • restaurants and licensed establishments are closed for in-person dining but may provide take-out or delivery
  • retail stores must restrict shoppers and staff to 25 per cent or less of allowable capacity
  • wineries, distilleries and breweries cannot hold tastings or in-person dining and must follow retail rules in their stores (delivery and curbside pickup allowed)
  • organized sports, recreational, athletic, arts and cultural activities, faith-based activities are paused
  • profit and non-profit fitness and recreational facilities closed
  • libraries and museums are closed, including the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
  • the casino and First Nations gaming establishments are closed
  • stronger enforcement of illegal gatherings, including ticketing of all attendees (total fine of $1,000)

Schools, after-school programs and childcare will remain open while certain personal services businesses such as hairstylists, estheticians and nail salons in western and central HRM can continue except procedures that cannot be done while a patron is masked.

The following new restrictions apply across the province:

  • to protect our most vulnerable, there will be no visitors except volunteers and designated caregivers to long-term care facilities and Adult Residential Centres and Regional Rehabilitation Centres licensed by the Department of Community Services
  • sports teams are restricted to local or regional play only
  • no extracurricular activities between schools

To further protect our most vulnerable, staff, volunteers and designated caregivers at long-term facilities in HRM will undergo voluntary, bi-weekly testing. Testing will be phased-in starting Nov. 27.

COVID-19 loves social and group activities because it can spread quickly and easily,” said Dr. Strang. “These measures are targeted to reduce the situations in which COVID-19 thrives. Go to work or go to school, then go home and stay there. One family member can shop for necessities. It will likely get worse before it gets better so don’t falter in following public health measures.”

Symptoms of COVID-19

Watch for symptoms. Symptoms can vary from person to person and in different age groups. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19.

The severity of COVID-19 symptoms can range from mild to severe, and in some cases, can lead to death. Current information suggests most people don’t experience severe illness or need to be hospitalized.

When to call 811

Call 811 for assessment if in the past 48 hours you have had, or you are currently experiencing:

Fever (i.e. chills/sweats) OR Cough (new or worsening)


Two or more of the following symptoms (new or worsening):

  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose/nasal congestion
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath

You should also call 811 for assessment if you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 or have any other symptoms that concern you.

Regular COVID Testing means:

Nova Scotia Health Authority has established COVID-19 assessment centres. If you need in-person assessment, 811 will refer you to a centre (don’t go to a COVID-19 assessment centre unless 811 referred you).

After testing, you’re legally required to self-isolate for 14 days if you:

  • are waiting for your COVID-19 test results
  • have tested positive for COVID-19
  • have tested negative for COVID-19, but had close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-1


  • You can now do a COVID-19 self-assessment online instead of calling 811. It is a faster option to get screened for testing. 811 will continue to take calls from people who cannot access the online self-assessment or who wish to speak with a nurse about their symptoms.


Important COVID-19 Update as of Thursday, October 1st:
Gathering limit increased to 50 people without social distancing for participants in performing arts and sports. Participants in performing arts and sports can gather in groups of up to 50 people without maintaining a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) for practices, competitions, games, rehearsals and artistic performances. This includes players, participants, officials, coaches, instructors, performers, directors, cast, crew and anyone who is required to be on or near a field of play or within a performance space.

The limit increase also applies to recreational league sports (like adult hockey) and drop-in activities (like open swims and skates). Unorganized or casual games (like pick-up basketball or soccer in the park) must follow the gathering limit with social distancing for sports (spectators and participants) and unorganized physical activity that are not run by a recognized business or organization.

While masks are not required during physical activity, participants in performing arts and sports are encouraged to wear a mask and keep as much social distancing as possible.
Other gathering limits:
  • gathering limit without social distancing – you can form a close social group of up to 10 people without social distancing; you’re not required to be exclusive but are strongly encouraged to maintain a consistent group (people shouldn’t gather in random or spontaneous groups of 10)
  • indoor gathering limit with social distancing for social events, sports and physical activity, faith gatherings, weddings, funerals, arts and culture events, festivals and special events that are run by a recognized business or organization – 50% of the venue’s capacity up to 200 people maximum indoors
  • outdoor gathering limit with social distancing for social events, sports and physical activity, faith gatherings, weddings, funerals, arts and culture events, festivals and special events that are run by a recognized business or organization – 250 people maximum outdoors
  • gathering limit with social distancing for social events, faith gatherings, weddings, funerals, and arts and culture events that are not run by a recognized business or organization (like a family event in the backyard) – 50 people maximum indoors and outdoors
  • gathering limit with social distancing for sports and physical activity that are not run by a recognized business or organization – 50 people maximum indoors and outdoors (participants can have incidental close contact with each other if it’s infrequent, brief and can’t be avoided)
  • gathering limit for businesses and organizations that can’t maintain a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) because their physical space is too small – 10 customers or clients maximum without social distancing (keep as much social distancing as possible)
Important COVID-19 Update as of Tuesday, September 22nd:
Students travelling into Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada to attend university or NSCC are required to get tested for COVID-19 while they’re self-isolating if they arrive before 22 September 2020.
Important COVID-19 Update as of Friday, July 31st:
Masks will be mandatory in most indoor spaces. Children under two are exempt, as well as children two to four when their caregiver can’t get them to wear a mask. People with a valid medical reason for not wearing a mask are also exempt. Schools, day cares and day camps continue to follow their sector-specific plans.
This means you MUST wear a mask to go into buildings for example:
– malls and stores
– restaurants
– gas stations
– hair salons
– appointments inside buildings
– grocery stores
– and most other public places
For the full list of public place restrictions please check:
For further guidance on the proper use of masks and face covering please watch: 


For the latest public health information on COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Federal updates:

Provincial updates:

If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, take the online self-assessment first before calling 811.

Federal self-assessment:

Provincial self-assessment:

Additional Resources:

Download Social Distancing Posters (five languages): 

The Mental Health Provincial Crisis Line is available 24/7 to anyone experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis, or someone concerned about them, by calling 1-888-429-8167 (toll free)

Kids Help Phone is available 24/7, by calling 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free)

For help or information about domestic violence 24/7, call 1-855-225-0220 (toll-free)

Local Domestic Violence and Mental Health Supports


Canada Emergency Response Benefit:

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): $2000 a month for workers who have lost their income because of COVID-19.

The CERB has now ended

The CRA is continuing to accept and process retroactive applications for period 7 (August 30 to September 26, 2020).

You can apply for period 7 through the CRA’s My Account or automated toll-free phone line at 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041. The CRA is aiming to issue payments for retroactive applications within our service standard of 3-5 business days for direct deposit and 10-12 business days for cheques, however, in some cases it will take longer for payments to be issued.

For more information:


Employment Insurance and support for workers

General overview of EI:

If you’ve been laid off and qualify for EI, apply online for regular benefits:…/ser…/benefits/ei/ei-regular-benefit.html

If you’re unable to work because of illness, including COVID-19, apply online for EI Sickness Benefits:

If you do not qualify for EI (e.g., if you are self-employed, not enough hours, etc.), we are in the process of implementing new supports called the Emergency Support Benefit and Emergency Care Benefit.

Information on these two new benefits:…/empl…/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html


Support for business

For information on the Government of Canada’s efforts to support Canadian businesses through COVID-19, including Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), please visit:…/…/resources-for-canadian-businesses.html

If you are a Canadian manufacturer or business that can assist Canada in meeting the need for medical supplies, please visit:…/maintaingrowi…/manufacturers-needed.html


Canadians abroad

If you are a Canadian stranded abroad, you need to be in touch with Global Affairs Canada:
+1 613 996 8885 (call collect where available)

For information on financial help for Canadians outside Canada, please visit:…/financial-as…/covid-19-financial-help


Ressources sur le COVID-19

Pour les plus récentes informations de santé publique sur le COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Mises-à-jour fédérales :


Mises-à-jour provinciales :

Si vous croyez que vous ressentez des symptômes du COVID-19, faites d’abord l’auto-évaluation en ligne avant d’appeler le 811.

Auto-évaluation fédérale :

Auto-évaluation provinciale :


*NOUVELLE Prestation canadienne d’urgence:

Prestation canadienne d’urgence (PCU): 2,000 $ par mois pour les travailleurs qui ont perdu leur revenu en raison du COVID-19.
Les demandes seraient disponibles la première semaine d’avril et les paiements commenceraient dans les 10 jours suivant.

La PCU est maintenant terminée

L’ARC continue d’accepter et de traiter les demandes rétroactives pour la période 7 (du 30 août au 26 septembre 2020).

Vous pouvez faire une demande pour la période 7 à l’aide de Mon dossier de l’ARC ou de la ligne téléphonique automatisée sans frais au 1-800-959-2041 ou au 1-800-959-2019. L’ARC compte faire les paiements pour les demandes rétroactives selon sa norme de 3 à 5 jours ouvrables pour le dépôt direct et de 10 à 12 jours ouvrables pour les chèques, mais dans certains cas, il faudra plus de temps pour que les paiements soient émis

Pour plus de détails:


Assurance-emploi et soutien aux travailleurs

Aperçu général de l’AE :

Si vous avez été mis à pied et que vous êtes admissible à l’assurance-emploi, demandez en ligne des prestations régulières :

Si vous ne pouvez pas travailler en raison d’une maladie, y compris COVID-19, faites une demande en ligne pour les prestations de maladie de l’assurance-emploi :

Si vous n’êtes pas admissible à l’assurance-emploi (par exemple, si vous êtes travailleur autonome, pas assez d’heures, etc.), nous sommes en train de mettre en œuvre de nouveaux soutiens appelés prestations de soutien d’urgence et prestations de soins d’urgence.

Informations sur ces deux nouveaux avantages :


Soutien aux entreprises

Pour obtenir des renseignements sur les efforts du gouvernement du Canada pour soutenir les entreprises canadiennes durant le COVID-19, veuillez visiter :

Si vous êtes un fabricant ou une entreprise canadienne qui peut aider le Canada à répondre aux besoins en fournitures médicales, veuillez visiter :


Canadiens à l’étranger

Si vous êtes un Canadien coincé à l’étranger, vous devez communiquer avec les Affaires mondiales Canada :
+1 613 996 8885 (à frais virés si ce service est offert dans le pays où vous vous trouvez)

Si vous avez besoin d’une aide financière pour retourner au Canada, consultez la page