Theatres & COVID-19

For the latest COVID regulations information, please visit the following resources:

NS Reopening Plan & Phases


NS Health Protection Act Order

On this page:


December 2021 Restrictions

On Friday, December 17, 2021 at 9:00am, public health restrictions and parameters are returning in Nova Scotia to help combat the rise of COVID-19 case numbers and the Omicron variant. To read the full list of restrictions, please click here.

Restrictions of particular importance to theatre makers and producers are as follows:

  • Gathering limit for live indoor events is reduced to 50% capacity, to a maximum of 150 people;
  • Social distancing of 2 metres (6ft) must be maintained between social bubbles (bubbles being 20 people max) at events;
  • Gathering limit of 60 people for all professional and amateur rehearsals however physical distancing is not required. Masks are recommended and encouraged when possible indoors and outdoors;
  • Classes and camps are limited to 20 people. Masks are to be worn.

Regulations for patrons and volunteers that are still in effect:

  • Proof of Vaccination and valid ID must be presented in order to attend live events;
  • Front of House personnel are encouraged to use the FREE VaxCheckNS app to verify POV documents;
  • Masks must be worn at all times (even while seated and distanced in an audience). If a person needs to remove their mask in order to eat or drink, they must be seated while doing so and replace it immediately when finished;


Please consult this Q&A document from recent information sessions with the Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism, and Heritage if you have additional questions regarding these new regulations.

If your company has live events scheduled that will be negatively impacted by these new restrictions (i.e. loss of ticket revenue), you are encouraged to reach out to Chris Shore at the Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism, and Heritage directly for potential support.


VaxCheckNS App

The VaxCheckNS app launchOctober 21, 2021. VaxCheckNS is a FREE app for organizations and businesses to scan the QR (quick read) code available on the latest Proof of Vaccination documentation provided by the government of NS, which looks like this:

(Link to access this version of the NS POV:

The app will scan both digital (ie. PDF on your smartphone) and print versions of this NS POV document, however trials have shown that digital versions have a higher success rate. The app will not work with the older versions of NS POV documentation, however those versions continue to be acceptable and valid - they just need to be checked manually by Front of House (FOH) personnel.

Please also know the app will support reading QR codes from the following provinces and territories: Yukon, Saskatchewan, Nunavut, Manitoba, and Northwest Territories. POV from all other provinces/jurisdictions must be checked manually.

Using the App

The app requires a mobile device (phone or tablet) with a camera to operate (recommended recent iOS or Android version 6). It does not require internet to work after downloading. You can download it for free from the App Store (Apple/iOS) or Google Play (Android). This app DOES NOT store or transmit any personal information, which means it is safe for FOH staff and/or volunteers to use personal devices to operate the app. Read the VaxCheckNS full privacy policy here.

Once downloaded and installed, open the app, select the "Scan Code" option, present the POV with QR code and frame the QR using the camera guides. The QR will read automatically, generating a green "Confirmed" screen if valid and a red "Sorry" screen if unable to confirm. If unconfirmed, check POV manually.

Example of the VaxCheckNS app process.

If you would like to see further instructions for using the app, please watch this short video.

Tips, Tricks, and Advice for using the VaxCheckNS App

We know our members will be eager to deploy this free service to speed up the entry process of patrons into their venues. Here are some tips from the Nova Scotia Business and Labour Economic Coalition to ensure fast and successful scanning:

  • Digital version is preferred for fast and reliable scans.
  • Digital PDF works best when QR code zoomed to fit screen.
  • Screenshot of full sized PDF does not work well due to pixilation when zooming in.
  • Folded or wrinkled paper does not work very well and manual inspection is suggested
  • If presenting paper version, lay it flat on a table for best results.
  • Apple Health also works well, as will Apple Wallet when that becomes available.

What your patrons need to know:

  • They do not need to download the VaxCheckNS app to participate in the scanning process. They only need to present a digital or print version of their POV with the QR code (available to download here).
  • The also need to bring and present a piece of valid ID in order to verify they are the holder of the POV.
  • Their personal information will not be stored or transmitted when scanned by the app.
  • Older versions of POV documentation are still acceptable - they just need to be inspected manually by FOH personnel.

What we recommend to our members to help make the entry process as smooth as possible:

  • Ensure patrons have access to POV policy information at every step of the purchase process.
  • Prepare patrons for what to expect upon entry. Create a page on your website where you list your COVID-19 policies and provide patrons with links for where they can easily access their POV information so they arrive prepared.
  • Make sure FOH staff/volunteers have the app downloaded and tested prior to admitting the public. Also ensure they are prepared to manually check POV documentation in case patrons arrive with older versions of the documentation. Remember, the date of a patron's second vaccination must have been at least two weeks before the date of your event in order for the person to be considered fully vaccinated. More information about vaccination status is available here.
  • FOH must also check a valid piece of ID after scanning/inspecting POV to verify the POV documentation matches the person presenting it.


Other helpful VaxCheckNS Resources (courtesy of Nova Scotia Business and Labour Economic Coalition):


Safety Infographics


December 2021 Restrictions










Provincial and Additional Guides

Reopening Guides

COVID-19 Prevention Guide for event organizers, theatres and performance venues | Updated on July 20, 2021

COVID-19 Guidance for Musicians (Vocalists and Instrumentalists) | Updated on July 21, 2021  

COVID-19 Return to Day Camp Guidelines | Updated on July 14, 2021  

COVID-19 Return to Overnight Camping Guidelines | Updated on July 14, 2021  

Atlantic Presenters Association Reopening Guide Template


Vaccine & Testing Resources

Canada Actors' Equity Association Position on COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements in the Workplace

Halifax Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Employee Vaccine Policy Framework discussion

Nova Scotia Workplace COVID-19 Screening Program | FREE rapid antigen tests for businesses and organizations


Other Resources

FAQ - Proof of Vaccintation Policy

COVID-19 Resources - Halifax Chamber of Commerce

Manadatory Vaccine Policies - Considerations for Employers by Cox & Palmer


Education through the Arts


Nova Scotia High School Drama Festival


Celebrating Nova Scotia's theatre talent

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