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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Tourism Industry Resource Page

Here for
Cape Breton’s
Tourism Industry

Official Tourism Resource & Information for the Coronavirus Disease
(COVID-19) Pandemic

The Current Situation on Cape Breton Island

Last updated: January 14th, 2020

The global tourism industry is based on interactions with other people. This is especially so on Cape Breton Island where a spirit of hospitality is in our DNA. We love to welcome visitors, but public safety is paramount at this time. As a result, we want to provide you with factual and up-to-date information about the situation on Cape Breton Island.

 As of January 13th, Nova Scotia’s Eastern Zone, which includes Cape Breton, has 5 confirmed cases of Covid-19. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is actively monitoring the current outbreak and working with the World Health Organization along with other international partners.

The Current Situation

If you travel within Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador you don’t need to self-isolate when you arrive in or return to Nova Scotia. When entering Nova Scotia from New Brunswick must complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form before arriving and self-isolate for 14 days upon the arrival. Nova Scotians returning from New Brunswick must also self-isolate for 14 days unless they are exempt from the order.

If you live in an Atlantic Canadian province, you need to show proof of residency when you enter Nova Scotia. You don’t need to complete a Nova Scotia Safe Check-in Form (self-declaration) before you travel to the province. When Atlantic Canadians arrive in Nova Scotia, every adult needs to provide a government-issued identification card, driver’s license, passport, or a utility bill or bank statement that shows their permanent home address. Atlantic Canadians also need to follow public health directives while they’re in Nova Scotia.

Starting Friday, Jan. 15, testing will be mandatory for rotational workers who work outside Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Workers must complete their full 14 days of modified self-isolation, even if they have a negative test result. They must get tested on day one or two and again on day six, seven, or eight.

Nova Scotia has Redeclared a State of Emergency 

On January 8th, the province was redeclared in a state of emergency. The state of emergency was called two days early and lasts for 14 days, January 24th, 2020, where the province will make its next decision.

Covid Limits & Symptoms

The following gathering restrictions are in place:

  • Households can have gatherings up to 10 people in their home including people who live there without social distancing (if your household is more than 10 people you can’t have any visitors); when you go into the community, your household can stay together without social distancing no matter how many people are in the household – when shopping, try to have 1 person from your household go into a store to help keep customers and staff safe.
  • Gathering limit for close social groups – you can form a close social group of up to 10 people without social distancing; you should try to keep this group consistent.
  • Businesses and organizations are not permitted to host in-person events and activities (indoors or outdoors), including:
    • arts and culture events
    • sports events (recreational, amateur, and professional)
    • festivals
    • special events
    • social events
    • wedding and funeral receptions
  • Indoor gathering limit with social distancing for faith gatherings, wedding ceremonies, and funeral services that are run by a recognized business or organization – 50% of the venue’s capacity up to 100 people maximum indoors (receptions and visitation are not permitted).
  • Outdoor gathering limit with social distancing for faith gatherings, wedding ceremonies, and funeral services that are run by a recognized business or organization – 150 people maximum outdoors (receptions and visitation are not permitted).
  • Gathering limit without social distancing for participants and officials in organized performing arts (excluding singing and playing brass or wind instruments) and sports – participants and officials in performing arts and sports (recreational, amateur, and professional) can gather in groups of up to 25 people without social distancing for practices and rehearsals; competitions, games, tournaments, performances, and spectators are not permitted.
  • Gathering limit for businesses and organizations that can’t maintain a physical distance of 2 meters (6 feet) because their physical space is too small – 10 customers or clients maximum without social distancing (keep as much social distancing as possible).

Symptoms

Symptoms may 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.

Some of the more common symptoms include:

  • feverish (chills, sweats)
  • new or worsening cough
  • sore throat
  • runny nose or nasal congestion
  • headache
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Reopening & Adjustments

As more businesses, organizations, services, and public spaces reopen or adjust their operations, we need to work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help keep everyone safe. Learn more about how businesses and organizations need to prepare for reopening.

Businesses, organizations, and health professions that were required to close under the Health Protection Act Order can reopen if they follow the Health Protection Act Order and their sector-specific plans. They also need to have a Workplace COVID-19 Prevention Plan. Plans need to show how the sector will comply with the Health Protection Act Order and public health directives (including social distancing) and ensure the safety of employees and customers. Sector associations representing businesses and organizations that were required to close need to submit their plans to the government for approval (send plans to ).

Businesses and organizations that weren’t required to close under the Health Protection Act Order should develop a Workplace COVID-19 Prevention Plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Sector associations need to share their plans with the businesses and organizations in their sector. Businesses and organizations should contact their association to learn what they need to do to reopen safely. Employers and employees need to work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19, protect their customers, and keep each other safe. Employers need to make sure that employees are aware of employment rules and resources. Businesses and organizations must continue to follow the Health Protection Act Order and their sector-specific plans after they open.

Destination Cape Breton hosted our Reopening Strategy Webinar on June 11, 2020, which included some next steps for tourism operators, an overview of our Reopening strategy, and some Q&A.  If you were unable to attend the webinar, please feel free to review it at the link below.

WATCH NOW

Update Your Listings

We recommend updating your business, package/experience, and event listings on novascotia.com (which feeds to visitcapebreton.com) to communicate any operational changes related to COVID-19, to help visitors with their trip planning.  For more information click here.

You should update your own website and social channels as well.

How is this affecting the Cape Breton Island Tourism Industry

Food Services

Employers and employees need to work together to maintain a healthy workplace. Employers and employees need to work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19, protect their customers, and keep each other safe. Employers need to make sure that employees are aware of employment rules and resources. Learn more about occupational health and safety guidance to help workplaces assess COVID-19 hazards and implement controls to reduce them.

You can find the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia/Restaurants Canada’s Covid-19 Rapid Recovery Guide here.

Parks Canada

As of July 13th, 2020, National Historic Sites have been able to reopen with limited visitor services. Locations may reduce the number of visitors allowed to enter at one time to ensure physical distancing. Please note that some buildings and lounging areas inside the historic sites will remain closed during this time.

Canadians are encouraged to stay in their own communities and avoid non-essential travel. This is a great time to explore natural and cultural treasures close to home. Try visiting less popular parks and sites. Go early in the morning or later in the afternoon. You can also enjoy Parks Canada places from the comfort of home, using Google Street View and our 360 video gallery. To learn more about visiting Parks Canada locations during COVID-19 click here or see the FAQ link below.

Events and Conferences

While we do not yet know the full impact this outbreak will have on the 2021 tourism season on the Island, but it has already had a significant effect on the recent 2020 season:

  • The Team Japan training camp that was to take place in Port Hawkesbury in advance of the IIHF Women’s World Cup has been postponed to 2021;
  • Science Atlantic conferences and Psychology of Language Learning conference at Cape Breton University have been canceled;
  • The Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities has canceled its spring conference which was scheduled for May in Sydney;
  • The cruise season has been delayed until October 31, 2020;
  • The Vince Ryan Memorial Hockey Tournament and the Wallace Bernard Memorial Native Youth Hockey Tournament have been canceled;
  • The Canadian National Darts Championships, both Youth and Adults, have been canceled;
  • The Cabot Trail Relay has been canceled for the first time in history;
  • Granville Green Concert Series has been canceled for this year;
  • Senior Little League Canadian Championships have been canceled;
  • National Youth Track and Field Championships have been canceled;
  • Marine Atlantic Argentia-North Sydney route has been canceled for the summer season;
  • Celtic Colours International Festival will be held online only for 2020; and
  • Bookings are being affected.

There is Support for the Tourism Industry

There have been a number of programs established by all levels of government to assist  Tourism businesses during these unprecedented times.

Destination Cape Breton’s Recovery Plans

We’ve been working to ensure that when the time is right we are ready to promote and encourage visitors to our beautiful island.

On May 1st, 2020, we provided an update that included:

  • Industry Communication
  • Advocacy for the Industry
  • Contingency Planning, and
  • Short-Term Initiatives

Tourism & COVID-19 News

Jan 13th, 2021
Eight New Cases of Covid-19

Jan 12th, 2021
Testing Mandatory for Rotational Workers

Jan 12th, 2021
One New Case of Covid-19

Jan 11th, 2021
Five New Cases of Covid-19

Jan 10th, 2021
No New Cases of Covid-19

Jan 9th, 2021
Three New Cases of Covid-19

Jan 8th, 2021
New Brunswick Border Tightened and Public Health Restrictions Extended

Jan 8th, 2021
Two New Cases of COVID-19, State of Emergency Renewed

Jan 7th, 2021
Four New Cases of Covid-19

Jan 6th, 2021
Twelve New Cases of Covid-19

Jan 5th, 2021
Update on Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan

Jan 5th, 2021
Three New Cases of Covid-19

Jan 4th, 2021
Six New Cases of Covid-19

Jan 2nd, 2021
Thirteen New Cases of Covid-19

Dec 31st, 2020
Three New Cases of COVID-19, Halifax-Area Restaurants and Licenced Establishments Opening

Dec 30th, 2020
Three New Cases of Covid-19

Dec 29th, 2020
Two New Cases of Covid-19

Dec 28th, 2020
No Cases of Covid-19 Reported

Dec 24th, 2020
Seven New Cases of Covid-19

Dec 23rd, 2020
Four New Cases of Covid-19, State of Emergency Renewed

Dec 22th, 2020
Seven New Cases of Covid-19

Dec 21th, 2020
Covid-19 Vaccine Update 

Dec 21th, 2020
Two New Cases of Covid-19

Dec 20th, 2020
Two New Cases of Covid-19

Dec 19th, 2020
Two New Cases of Covid-19

Dec 18th, 2020
Seven New Cases of Covid-19

Dec 18th, 2020
Asymptomatic Testing Continues

Dec 17th, 2020
Six New Cases of COVID-19

Dec 16th, 2020
Holiday Restrictions to Keep Nova Scotians Safe

Dec 16th, 2020
Four New Cases of COVID-19

Dec 15th, 2020
Nova Scotia Receives COVID-19 Vaccine

Dec 15th, 2020
Six New Cases of Covid-19

Dec 14th, 2020
Five New Cases of Covid-19

Dec 13th, 2020
Asymptomatic Testing Extended Around Province

Dec 13th, 2020
Six New Cases of Covid-19

Dec 12th, 2020
Seven New Cases of Covid-19

Dec 11th, 2020
Nine New Cases of COVID-19, Another School-based Case, State of Emergency Renewed

Dec 10th, 2020
Four New Cases of COVID-19, Another School-based Case

Dec 9th, 2020
Six New Cases of Covid-19

Dec 8th, 2020
Covid-19 Vaccine To Arrive Next Week 

Dec 8th, 2020
Seven New Cases of COVID-19, Another School-based Case

Dec 7th, 2020
Booking Begins for Asymptomatic Testing Across the Province

Dec 7th, 2020
Eight New Cases of Covid-19

Dec 6th, 2020
Nova Scotia Reports Additional School-based Case of COVID-19

Dec 6th, 2020
Nova Scotia Reports One School-based Case of COVID-19

Dec 6th, 2020
Four New Cases of COVID-19

Dec 5th, 2020
Six New Cases of COVID-19

Dec 4th, 2020
Extended restrictions and more screening clinics for asymptomatic people across the province

Dec 4th, 2020
Fifteen New Cases of COVID-19, Another School-based Case 

Dec 3rd, 2020
Nova Scotia Reports One School-based Case of COVID-19

Dec 3rd, 2020
Eleven New Cases of Covid-19

Dec 2nd, 2020
Seventeen New Cases of Covid-19

Dec 1st, 2020
New Case of Covid-19 in School

Dec 1st, 2020
Ten New Casse of Covid-19

Nov 30th, 2020
Sixteen New Casse of Covid-19

Nov 29th, 2020
One New School-based Case of Covid-19

Nov 28th, 2020
Ten New Cases of Covid-19

Nov 28th, 2020
Fourteen New Cases of Covid-19

Nov 27th, 2020
Eight New Cases of COVID-19, Another School-based Case, State of Emergency Renewed

Nov 26th, 2020
Fourteen New Cases of Covid-19

Nov 26th, 2020
Sixteen New Cases of Covid-19

Nov 25th, 2020
New Emergency Health Services Vehicles to Improve Access to Care

Nov 24th, 2020
Thirty-seven New Cases of Covid-19

Nov 24th, 2020
New Restrictions to Reduce Spread of COVID-19

Nov 24th, 2020
Asymptomatic Testing for Bar Staff and Patrons

Nov 23rd, 2020
Eleven New Cases of COVID-19

Nov 23rd, 2020
Atlantic Provinces Advise Caution Relating to Non-Essential Travel Within Bubble

Nov 22nd, 2020
Eleven New Cases of COVID-19

Nov 21st, 2020
Eight New Cases of COVID-19

Nov 20th, 2020
New Restrictions to Reduce Spread of COVID-19

Nov 20th, 2020
Five New Cases of COVID-19

Nov 19th, 2020
Second Case of Covid-19 at Auburn High; Some Schools Closed Friday

Nov 19th, 2020
One New Case of COVID-19

Nov 19th, 2020
Regional Care Unit Sites Announced

Nov 18th, 2020
Three New Cases of COVID-19

Nov 18th, 2020
Five New Cases of COVID-19

Nov 16th, 2020
Nova Scotia Reports Two School-based Cases of COVID-19

Nov 16th, 2020
Two New Cases of COVID-19

Nov 15th, 2020
Two New Cases of COVID-19

Nov 14th, 2020
Six New Cases of COVID-19

Nov 13th, 2020
Two New Case of COVID-19, State of Emergency Renewed

Nov 11th, 2020
Two New Cases of COVID-19

Nov 10th, 2020
Three New Cases of COVID-19

Nov 9th, 2020
Stricter Self-isolation for Non-Essential Travel

Nov 9th, 2020
One New Case of COVID-19

Nov 8th, 2020
Three New Cases of COVID-19

Nov 7th, 2020
Four New Cases of COVID-19

Nov 5th, 2020
One New Case of COVID-19

Nov 3rd, 2020
One New Case of COVID-19

Nov 1st, 2020
Two New Cases of COVID-19

Oct 31st, 2020
Five New Cases of COVID-19

Oct 30th, 2020
Two New Cases of COVID-19, State of Emergency Renewed

Oct 28th, 2020
Enhanced COVID-19 Testing Process for Nova Scotians

Oct 24th, 2020
Three New Cases of COVID-19

Oct 21st, 2020
Atlantic Premiers Discuss Responses to COVID-19 and Regional Priorities

Oct 18th, 2020
Two New Cases of COVID-19

Oct 16th, 2020
One New Case of COVID-19, State of Emergency Renewed

Oct 15th, 2020
Province to Implement COVID-19 Program to Improve Infrastructure

Oct 15th, 2020
COVID Alert App Available in Nova Scotia

Oct 13th, 2020
Three New Cases of COVID-19

Oct 9th, 2020
Statement by the Chief Medical Officer of Health on the Atlantic bubble

Oct 5th, 2020
No New Cases of COVID-19

Oct 2nd, 2020
One New Case of COVID-19, State of Emergency Renewed

Oct 1st, 2020
No New Cases of COVID-19

Oct 1st, 2020
Faster COVID-19 Testing for Nova Scotians

Sept 30th, 2020
One New Case of COVID-19

Sept 28th, 2020
No New Cases of COVID-19

Sept 23rd, 2020
No New Cases of COVID-19

Sept 22nd, 2020
One New Case of COVID-19

Sept 21st, 2020
No New Confirmed Cases, One Probable Case of COVID-19

Sept 18th, 2020
Gathering Limits for Participants in Performing Arts, Sports to Increase

Sept 17th, 2020
No New Cases of COVID-19

Sept 16th, 2020
Nova Scotians and Maritimers Encouraged to Keep Rediscovering Nova Scotia This Fall

Sept 14th, 2020
No New Cases of COVID-19

Sept 12th, 2020
No New Cases of COVID-19

Sept 11th, 2020
Easing of Self-Isolation Requirements for Out-of-Province Rotational Workers

Sept 10th, 2020
No New Cases of COVID-19

Sept 8th, 2020
No New Cases of COVID-19

Sept 8th, 2020
Government Eases Restrictions, Allows Designated Caregivers for Long-Term Care Residents

Sept 7th, 2020
One New Case of COVID-19

Sept 6th, 2020
No New Cases of COVID-19

Sept 4th, 2020
No New Cases of COVID-19, State of Emergency Renewed, Symptoms for Testing Updated

Sept 3rd, 2020
No New Cases of COVID-19

Aug 31st, 2020
One New Case of COVID-19

Aug 28th, 2020
Two New Cases of COVID-19

Aug 26th, 2020
Province Further Eases Restrictions in Long-Term Care, Allows Some Large Gatherings, Sets Group Size for Before- and After-School Programs

Aug 26th, 2020
One New Case of COVID-19

Aug 24th, 2020
New Contest Encourages Nova Scotians to Explore Their Province

Aug 23rd, 2020
Nova Scotia Reports One More Death, Two New Case of COVID-19

Aug 22nd, 2020
One New Case of COVID-19

Aug 21st, 2020
No New Cases of COVID-19, State of Emergency Renewed

Aug 21st, 2020
One New Case of COVID-19

Aug 19th, 2020
One New Case of COVID-19

Aug 18th, 2020
No New Cases of COVID-19

Aug 17th, 2020
One New Case of COVID-19

Aug 15th, 2020
Two New Cases of COVID-19

Aug 14th, 2020
One New Case of COVID-19

Aug 8th, 2020
No New Cases of COVID-19, State of Emergency Renewed

Aug 2nd, 2020
Nova Scotia Health advising of potential COVID-19 exposure on July 12 flight from Toronto to Halifax

Aug 2nd, 2020
Two New Cases of COVID-19

July 31st, 2020
Two New Cases of COVID-19

July 29th, 2020
Nova Scotia Reports One More Death, No New Cases of COVID-19

July 24th, 2020
Province Announces Mandatory Masks in Indoor Public Places

July 24th, 2020
No New Cases of COVID-19, State of Emergency Renewed

July 17th, 2020
Province Announces Mandatory Masks on Public Transportation and Easing of Visitor Restrictions in Long-Term Care Homes

July 10th, 2020
No New Cases of COVID-19, State of Emergency Renewed

July 10th, 2020
Tourism Nova Scotia Visitor Information Centres Now Open

July 7th, 2020
Border Tracking Form for Non-Bubble Travellers to Nova Scotia Now Online

July 3rd, 2020
Provincial Campgrounds Open to Atlantic Provinces, More Campsites

July 2nd, 2020
Atlantic Bubble Border Crossing

June 30, 2020
One New Case of COVID-19

June 26, 2020
Further Lifting of Restrictions, New Gathering Limits

June 22nd, 2020
Nova Scotia Reports One Death, No New or Active Cases of COVID-19

June 12, 2020
Feds mandating temperature checks at airports, extending military deployments
Membertou reopening businesses

June 2, 2020
No new cases identified in Nova Scotia on Tuesday

June 1, 2020
Cities to be sent $2.2 billion in infrastructure funds early to help COVID-19 recovery
10,000 Canadians to be tested for COVID-19 antibodies in hopes of understanding immunity

May 31, 2020
Gaelic College in St. Ann’s forced to reduce summer offerings
Cape Breton Miners’ Museum underground simulator not ready

May 29, 2020
Large cruise ships banned from Canadian waters until October 31, 2020
Nova Scotia to allow 10-person gatherings as no new cases announced on Friday
‘A Beautiful Thing’: Gift card campaign to benefit essential workers

May 28, 2020
Parks Canada to ease restrictions at Cape Breton sites beginning Monday
Nova Scotia Health Authority reintroducing programs impacted by pandemic
Coach Atlantic Maritime Bus projects $30 million in lost revenue because of COVID-19
CBRM extends deadline for grant applications

May 27, 2020
Most NS businesses forced to close due to COVID-19 can reopen June 5
Prime Minister Trudeau says jobs available for young people, implores employers to re-hire
The Province invests $230 Million to stimulate the economy and create jobs

May 26, 2020
Prime Minister plans to take COVID-19 antibody test once available
Cape Breton Royal Canadian Legion branches turn to headquarters for help during COVID-19
Parliament can’t fully resume without virtual voting in place, says Trudeau 

May 25, 2020
Trudeau pushing for 10 days of paid sick leave from provinces amid coronavirus
Antibody treatment for COVID-19 ready for clinical trials, says Toronto scientist
Airlines searching for ways to get Canadians traveling again

May 24, 2020
Nova Scotia reports 1 new COVID-19 case; 973 people recovered
Sydney airport hoping help is in the air as the impact from COVID-19 hits hard

May 22, 2020
Feds readying to recommend contact tracing app
Cape Breton University professor working on technology that could lead to quicker COVID-19 testing

May 21, 2020
Celtic Colours International Festival to be held online this year 
Trudeau offering provinces, territories help to ‘scale-up’ testing, contact tracing
‘The second wave will come’ and experts say Canada is not prepared
May 20, 2020
Canada’s Cheif Public Health Officer says it is now recommended that Canadians wear facemasks
Feds to announce additional pandemic funding for off-reserve Indigenous People
Maritime provinces with few COVID-19 cases float travel bubble but public health experts urge caution

May 19, 2020
Canada-US border to remain closed to non-essential travel for another month, Prime Minister says it’s the ‘right thing’
Amid COVID-19 uncertainty, Yarmouth ferry service slated to resume July 15

May 18, 2020
Mabou pub owner donates $15,000 to Inverness hospital emergency department
More than 50 percent of Canada’s COVID-19 cases have recovered