COVID-19: Production in Nova Scotia

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On March 22nd, 2020, the Province of Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency to help contain the spread of COVID-19.  The state of emergency has been renewed, and currently, the province of Nova Scotia has moderate COVID-19 restrictions in place. However, these restrictions do not affect businesses in the film and television sectors, which remain open and can continue to operate. Currently, once the production team has a reliable health and safety plan in place, production can happen.

For the film and television industry, this means:

  • Group gatherings should be limited in accordance with Public Health guidance HERE.
  • Entering Canada: All travellers can be eligible to enter Canada as a fully vaccinated traveller regardless of citizenship. Canadians must meet and follow all of the same entry requirements. More info HERE.
  • Entering Nova Scotia: All travellers who qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption can enter Nova Scotia for non-essential travel. More info HERE.

For the province’s multi-phase Reopening Plan, click HERE. Please note: we are currently in a modified Phase 5 which includes a COVID-19 Proof of Full Vaccination Policy. Starting on October 4th, 2021, you will need proof that you’re fully vaccinated to participate in discretionary, non-essential events and activities that gather people together (i.e. going to restaurants, gyms, movies, sports events, theatre performances, social events). More info HERE.

As always, Screen Nova Scotia is here to support your production plans. If you have any questions or concerns after reading this page, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly.


HEALTH & SAFETY GUIDELINES 

Health & Safety Guidelines: The health and safety of all individuals working on production is a top concern during COVID-19. Screen Nova Scotia’s “COVID-19 Related Health & Safety Guidelines for the Screen Industry” are intended to provide guidance to the Screen Industry as they navigate COVID-19 specific risk exposure, during the production of film and television in Nova Scotia.

These COVID-19 related guidelines were developed to incorporate expert advice, allow for alignment with provincial and federal public health and safety protocols, and promote the safe return to work in our industry prior to the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine. The guidelines were approved by the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robert Strang, as well as the Dept of Labour and Advanced Education. Screen Nova Scotia will continue to monitor and update these guidelines as required to ensure they reflect the restrictions in place. 

Click HERE to view and download Screen Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 Related Health & Safety Guidelines for the Screen Industry. Please note: the guidelines have recently undergone a full update and review as of October 4th, 2021. 

Department Specific Appendices: Screen Nova Scotia’s Health and Safety Committee has drafted a set of suggested practices for specific departments as appendices. These supplemental guidelines act as a complement to the COVID-19 Related Health & Safety Guidelines for the Screen Industry and will aid productions in developing their own set of show-specific customized protocols.

The appendices are intended as basic guidelines for those departments that will be most impacted by COVID-19 procedures. They have been compiled by the SNS Health and Safety Committee in consultation with DGC-ARC, IATSE Locals 849 and 667, and ACTRA Maritimes, with content from local, national and international documents. They are intended to help producers, cast, and crew navigate working conditions as currently prescribed by the Public Health Order.

Click HERE to view and download the Departmental Appendices to Screen Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 Related Health & Safety Guidelines for the Screen Industry.


TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

Updated October 4th, 2021.

Who can come to Canada: Canadian citizens and all other foreign nationals who qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption can enter Canada for discretionary (non-essential) travel. More info HERE.

Travel into Nova Scotia: Everyone who travels from another Canadian province or territory (including if you’re travelling through Nova Scotia to another destination) needs to apply to travel to Nova Scotia by completing the Safe Check-in Form. More info HERE. International travellers need to follow federal isolation, testing and travel requirements in the Quarantine Act.

Vaccination Policy: Starting on October 4th, 2021, as part of the COVID-19 Protocol for Proof of Full Vaccination for Events and Activities, you need proof that you’re fully vaccinated to participate in discretionary, non-essential events and activities that gather people together (i.e. going to restaurants, gyms, movies, sports events, theatre performances, social events). More info HERE.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: FILMING IN NOVA SCOTIA

Q: What is the current COVID-19 situation in Nova Scotia?
A: On March 22nd, 2020, the Province of Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency to help contain the spread of COVID-19.  The state of emergency has been renewed, and currently, the province of Nova Scotia has moderate COVID-19 restrictions in place. However, these restrictions do not affect businesses in the film and television sectors, which remain open and can continue to operate. For the province’s multi-phase Reopening Plan, click HERE. Please note that we are currently in a modified Phase 5 which includes a COVID-19 Proof of Full Vaccination Policy — more info HERE.

Q: Can I film in Nova Scotia? Are there guidelines/protocols in place for filming?
A: The Public Health Order (PHO) arising from the COVID-19 pandemic did not close businesses in the film and television sectors, which therefore remained open, and have continued to operate. Currently, once a production team has a practical and reliable health and safety plan in place, production can happen.

Film and television production has been up and running in the province since June 2020, and the 2021 production season is on track to be one of the busiest years in recent history. For a list of what’s filming, please click HERE.

Click HERE to view and download Screen Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 Related Health & Safety Guidelines for the Screen Industry.

Q: Will I need a permit to film? Are permits currently available?
A: Yes, permits are currently available. Permits required for filming in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) can be acquired at the Halifax Film Office, which is open for business. The Halifax Film Office is the first point of contact when filming in the Halifax region — all municipal services can be facilitated in one call, from stop-and-go-traffic to securing municipal locations.

When filming outside the HRM, film permits/permissions are handled through the individual town’s municipal offices. Contacts can be provided by Screen Nova Scotia, or your local production manager and/or locations manager.

Q: Can I bring cast and crew across the Canadian border? What about inter-provincial travel? Are work permits available?
A: Yes. Canadian citizens and all other foreign nationals who qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption can now enter Canada for discretionary (non-essential) travel.

Everyone who travels from another Canadian province or territory (including if you’re travelling through Nova Scotia to another destination) needs to apply to travel to Nova Scotia by completing the Safe Check-in Form. More info HERE. International travellers need to follow federal isolation, testing and travel requirements in the Quarantine Act

Q: What incentives are there for filming in Nova Scotia?
A: Nova Scotia offers several funding programs that make our province one of the most effective and competitive in the country. Please visit our incentives page HERE.

Q: How do I find the right location for my project?
A: Nova Scotia has been an in-demand location for regional and international filmmakers for decades. Located in eastern Canada and almost completely surrounded by ocean, the province of Nova Scotia offers a variety of unique and spectacular locations. With soundstage space and an environmental pool facility used to create realistic marine and underwater scenes, Nova Scotia has the state-of-the-art infrastructure to bring your production to life. Our experienced Locations Manager is standing by to create a free digital image package with inspirational Nova Scotia locations that perfectly match your script. We also offer support for incoming location scouts — more info available on our website HERE.


SUPPORT FOR MEMBERS

For information on financial aid programs for individuals and businesses, please follow the links below:

  • Federal support programs from the Government of Canada HERE.
  • Provincial support programs from the Government of Nova Scotia HERE.