Arriving or returning to Nova Scotia


Planning your arrival or return: What you need to know

Whether you are living on- or off-campus this winter, if you are coming to Nova Scotia (either for the first time since the start of the pandemic or returning after travel), please see below for important information on planning your arrival. This information may change, so please check your Dal email frequently for updates from the university and the Dal Residence Office.

Government information

The Government of Canada continues to advise Canadians to avoid non-essential travel.

Please note that government restrictions (both Canada and Nova Scotia) are subject to change at any time. Refer to the following websites for the latest international and domestic travel information:

•    Government of Canada
•    Government of Nova Scotia

We also encourage students to visit COVID-19: your safety and security outside of Canada.

New testing requirement for those arriving by air

As of January 7, 2021, all travellers to Canada (ages five years and older) entering by air are required to show a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours prior to boarding their scheduled departure to Canada. This testing is required for both international students and Canadian students who are currently outside the country. Students can review this Global Affairs Canada advisory for more information and for a list of testing facilities that provide testing for international students and Canadian students within each country (to find testing facilities in your country, scroll down to view the list of destinations, click on the country's link, and then select the "Health" tab).

If you are an international student arriving in Nova Scotia from outside Canada

International students have specific requirements about returning to Canada from outside the country. All International students are required to complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine. All travel and mandatory quarantine arrangements must be completed in consultation with a Dalhousie international advisor. For the full list of requirements and other updates specific to international students, please visit our Immigration and COVID-19 page.

If you are arriving in Nova Scotia from New Brunswick or Newfoundland and Labrador

Anyone who has travelled to Nova Scotia from New Brunswick or Newfoundland and Labrador must complete a 14-day self-isolation period upon arrival in Nova Scotia. Students must also complete a Nova Scotia Safe Check-in Form before arriving, and complete a digital check-in daily during self-isolation. Students must self-isolate alone, or with others who are self-isolating for the same period of time.

If you are arriving in Nova Scotia from anywhere in Canada except Prince Edward Island


Required self-isolation

All students arriving in or returning to Nova Scotia from all Canadian jurisdictions other than PEI must ensure they have a plan to self-isolate for 14 days upon arriving/returning to Nova Scotia. (See above section for specific details if arriving from New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador).

Students must self-isolate alone, or with others who are self-isolating for the same period of time. If there are other people in the home, they must also self-isolate for 14 days, unless you have your own separate living space like a self-contained apartment or basement (no shared living spaces including bathroom). If you plan to self-isolate in residence, and have not already registered, contact residence@dal.ca as soon as possible.

Recommended testing

The Nova Scotia provincial government is strongly recommending that all post-secondary students who arrive in Nova Scotia from parts of Canada other than PEI on or after Jan. 4 get one COVID-19 test on either day 6, 7 or 8 of their 14-day self-isolation period.

Students must book an appointment in advance. Please do not visit any pop-up rapid-testing sites during self-isolation. See the recent memo for instructions on how to book an appointment.

A negative COVID-19 test does NOT mean you may end your self-isolation early. Students must complete the full 14-day self-isolation period.

Required travel form and daily check-ins


Students must complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-In form prior to travel and show their confirmation email upon entry to the province.

Students must complete a daily Nova Scotia Safe Check-In via email. The Nova Scotia government email will be sent to the email address you provide on you Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form. Please check your junk mail for this email if you do not see it daily.

If you are a Canadian student returning to Nova Scotia from international travel


Required self-isolation


All Canadian students returning to Canada from another country are required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Students must self-isolate alone, or with others who are self-isolating for the same period of time. If there are other people in the home, they must also self-isolate for 14 days, unless you have your own separate living space like a self-contained apartment or basement (no shared living spaces including bathroom).

Canadian students do not need to contact the International Centre when making travel plans; however, please connect with an international advisor with any inquiries by calling 902-494-1566 or emailing international.centre@dal.ca.

Before arriving in Canada

Students must submit travel dates, contact information, self-isolation plan, and a COVID-19 symptom self-assessment to the Canada Border Services Agency via the ArriveCAN mobile app or website.

Self-isolation plans must include:

•    dates of self-isolation
•    self-isolation address
•    form of transportation to self-isolation location
•    plan for receiving food and supplies during self-isolation

Students must complete a Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form prior to travel and show their confirmation email upon entry to the province.

Upon arrival in Nova Scotia

Students are required to confirm within 48 hours through the ArriveCAN app/website or by calling 1-833-641-0343 that they have arrived at their self-isolation location in Nova Scotia.

Recommended testing

As of Jan. 4, post-secondary students from outside Atlantic Canada who enter Nova Scotia and don’t have symptoms should get one COVID-19 test on day 6, 7 or 8 of their self-isolation.

The Nova Scotia provincial government is strongly recommending that all post-secondary students who arrive in Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada on or after Jan. 4 get one COVID-19 test on either day 6, 7 or 8 of their 14-day self-isolation period.

Students must book an appointment in advance. Please do not visit any pop-up rapid-testing sites during self-isolation. See the recent memo for instructions on how to book an appointment.

A negative COVID-19 test does NOT mean you may end your self-isolation early. Students must complete the full 14-day self-isolation period.

While in self-isolation, students must complete:

•    A daily Nova Scotia Safe Check-In via email. The Nova Scotia government email will be sent to the email address you provide on your Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form. Please check your junk mail for this email if you do not see it daily.

•    A daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessment through the ArriveCAN app/website or by calling 1-833-641-0343.
 

Additional travel precautions

Whether you are travelling locally or internationally, these travel precautions can help keep you and other safe.

Before departing:

  • Review the regulations governing travel to your destination, as travel restrictions may change. If you are travelling within Canada, please review information specific to your province or territory. If travelling outside of Canada, please check for any travel advisories for your destination. 
  • Please keep in mind that some countries require specific COVID -19 testing prior to entry.
  • If you are traveling internationally, visit International SOS, an online portal that provides information on safety and medical risks across 220 countries. Please use Dal membership # 27ASCA824913. We also encourage you to visit COVID-19: your safety and security outside of Canada.
  • International students are also reminded that they must submit travel dates, contact information, mandatory quarantine plan, and COVID-19 symptom self-assessment to theCanada Border Services Agency via the ArriveCAN mobile app or website.
  • During the weeks leading up to your departure, take extra precautions when socializing, follow public health rules about gathering limits, and avoid known areas of potential COVID-19 exposure to minimize your risk of infection.
  • Continue to be diligent regarding wearing a non-medical mask and follow the social distancing directives from Public Health.
  • Wash your hands often, especially before and after entering a public place.

Day of travel:

  • Reduce the number of stops on the trip, whether it’s during the drive from your place of residence to the airport, or public places along the route during a trip by car.
  • Delay your travel if you are sick, have recently been diagnosed with COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone who has been recently diagnosed.
  • Take safety precautions during travel: wear face masks, stay 2 metres (6 feet) apart from others as much as possible, sit as far away from other passengers as possible, carry and use hand sanitizer, wipe any touchable surfaces with sanitizing wipes.
  • Confirm any requirements or restrictions at your travel destination.
  • The least risky option is private transportation by yourself or with your family members.
  • Wash your hands often, especially before and after entering a public place.


Self-isolation information

Preparing for self-isolation

·       Arrange for a place to stay to self-isolate. People travelling into Nova Scotia from outside the province for non-essential reasons must self-isolate alone or with others who are self-isolating for the same period. For example, if you and a family member are travelling into Nova Scotia at the same time, you may self-isolate together in the same location. If there are other people in the home, they must also self-isolate (everyone in the home where the traveller is self-isolating needs to self-isolate). The Nova Scotia website provides up-to-date information on what is required and expected for those travelling into the province.

·       Check-in with Public Health Plan. Every student travelling into Nova Scotia from outside the province needs to complete a Nova Scotia Safe Check-in Form (self-declaration) prior to travelling into the province. You will also need to complete a digital check in each day of your isolation period. This will be sent to the email address you indicated on your Nova Scotia Safe Check-in Form (please check your junk and clutter folders). If you fail to check-in each day, the police will visit your address listed to confirm your compliance.

·       Arrange for transportation to the location where you will be isolating. Avoid taking public transportation (like a taxi, bus or shuttle) if possible. If you do need to take public transportation, wear a mask and keep a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others, as much as you can. Do not take public transportation if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Go directly to where you will be self-isolating. Do not make any stops on the way there (unless it is essential). Once you arrive at your self-isolation location, you need to stay in that location while you’re self-isolating (you cannot change locations).

·       Arrange to have groceries and supplies (such as toiletries and cleaning supplies) delivered upon your arrival (and during your quarantine, if needed). You can also plan to have meals delivered, as long as you do not need to have contact with the delivery service. Ensure you have a payment method available for ordering meals from local restaurants. Do not use cash.

·       Should you be in self-isolation while studying, ensure you have access to a computer/laptop and internet/WiFi at the location where you will be self-isolating.

·       Request accommodations, if needed. If there are design or delivery aspects in one or more of your courses (online or in-person) that result in barriers to your participation while you are self-isolating, contact the Student Accessibility Centre. Students studying at the Agricultural Campus can contact the Student Success Centre.

·       Ensure you have a thermometer available and check your temperature twice daily. Other supplies to have on hand in case you get sick include a box of tissues and fever-reducing medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. You will also want to ensure you obtain any prescription medication you may need while self-isolating.

Watch for symptoms. Symptoms can vary from person to person and in different age groups. Some of the more common symptoms include fever (chills, sweats), new or worsening cough, sore throat, runny nose or nasal congestion, headache and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. You can use the Self-Assessment tool to determine if you require a Covid-19 test.

·       Plan daily check-ins with friends and family. Self-isolation can be lonely. Arranging to talk with friends and family over the telephone or through video calls is a great way to socialize while keeping your distance. You can also join Dalhousie’s Quarantine Connect to socialize with other Dal students are also self-isolating.

·       Check-in with yourself. If you are starting to feel stress, apprehension or sadness, help is available. Dalhousie Student Health & Wellness offers a variety of resources and services in both Halifax and Truro campuses, including same-day counselling and online workshops and programming, all aimed to support students’ mental health. Visit dal.ca/mentalhealth to see all the resources available to you.

·       If you are arriving from an International location, please see the updated memo on additional requirements for self-isolation.

·       If you are self-isolating in a Dalhousie residence, see the preparing for self-Isolating tips for residence students.

Where can you quarantine/self-isolate?

Students arriving/returning from within Canada

Students arriving or returning from within Canada, but outside of the Atlantic provinces may be able to self-isolate in residence. Please see information on self-isolating in residence on our Residence website. If you plan to self-isolate in residence, and have not already registered, contact residence@dal.ca as soon as possible.

Other options for self-isolating off campus (students arriving from within Canada only)

Students who live off-campus and have their own apartments/accomodations are encouraged to self-isolate where it is most comfortable.*

Below are some other options for self-isolating off campus.

Halifax

Truro

International students
 
International students should visit our Immigration and COVID-19 page for information about travel and arrival requirements specific to them.

Mental health support

Students are encouraged to think about their own mental health and wellness support plan, prior to their arrival on campus and there are a number of mental health supports available virtually.

Health plan

Every Dalhousie student must have health insurance coverage. “Coverage" refers to everything that your health plan includes/covers (for example, health services, treatments, and appointments, including anything related to COVID-19). For information, visit Student Health Plans.

Residence supports

Residence Life will conduct regular (virtual and/or by phone) check-ins with students who are self-isolating. Residence Life is available 24/7 to answer questions and provide support by calling the front desk or emailing reslife@dal.ca. Once students have completed isolation, we will begin running in-person events and activities to help students connect to each other and the residence community.


Your responsibilities on and off campus

Expectations for students

Students are expected to comply with the university and government policies, plans, and directives related to COVID-19. Basic expectations of students include, but are not limited to:

•    Monitoring and adhering to travel restrictions and self-isolation requirements as issued by the Province of Nova Scotia
•    Maintaining physical distancing requirements (2 metres/6 feet)
•    Wearing non-medical face masks, as expected, directed, or required
•    Limiting the size of indoor and outdoor gatherings (view gathering restrictions for Nova Scotia)
•    Booking a COVID test on days 6, 7, or 8 of your self-isolation (even if you do not have symptoms. Please do not go to a pop-up rapid-testing site during self-isolation. See recent memo for instructions.

Simple, individual actions can directly reduce the risk of community spread.

Masks are mandatory indoors and on public transportation

As of July 31, it is mandatory to wear non-medical face masks in any indoor public spaces in Nova Scotia, as well as on public transportation. At Dal, this applies to all staff, faculty, students and visitors to campus who are travelling through or working/studying in any indoor common areas and public spaces including buildings, libraries, food establishments, residences, hallways, stairwells, elevators, and common study areas.

Physical distancing (2 metres/6 feet) must still be observed while wearing non-medical masks.

You are free to remove your non-medical mask in personal, private workspaces where a distance of two metres can be observed, or within students’ private residence rooms. You may also remove your mask briefly while eating and drinking, providing you are stationary and observing a safe physical distance from others.

Masks will also be mandatory inside Dalplex, but patrons/members are not required to wear masks during their workout activity.

Exceptions to these requirements can include individuals with valid medical reasons or other personal circumstances.

For more information, see Requirements for wearing a mask.

Items to add to your packing list

Students are strongly encouraged to bring a supply of hand soap, sanitizer, non-medical masks, a thermometer, and prescriptions/medications for the semester. Students may also want to bring cleaning products that are Health Canada compliant in order to keep their apartments or rooms clean and disinfected.

If you’re staying in residence, visit our Residence website for a list of items you may wish to bring.

Can families/supporters help students move?

All travellers entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada must adhere to public health directives surrounding self-isolation.

If you are moving into residence and have a family member or support person travelling with you from outside the Atlantic bubble, they may help you move in to your self-isolation accommodations, but will be required to leave the residence immediately after helping you move in and will not be permitted to return. They may leave Nova Scotia immediately to return home, stopping only for food, gas, and hotel. No sight-seeing, shopping, or visiting relatives or friends is permitted. If they choose to stay, they will need to self-isolate immediately in a hotel or another location for a 14-day period. During this time, no restaurants, shopping, sight-seeing, or visiting with other contacts is permitted. They must follow the self-isolation requirements (see above question "What does it mean to have to self-isolate?").

If you are moving into housing off campus and have a family member or support person travelling with you from outside the Atlantic bubble, they may help you move in and if they choose to stay, they must self-isolate with you (or in a hotel/other accommodations). During this time, no restaurants, shopping, sight-seeing, or visiting with other contacts is permitted. They must follow the self-isolation requirements as set out by the province (see above question "What does it mean to have to self-isolate?"). If family/supporters choose to stay, they are not required to stay for the full 14 days; however, if they choose to leave before the end of the 14-day isolation period, they must go directly home, stopping only for food, gas, and hotel.  

We also recommend you check with your landlord in advance to ensure you follow appropriate health and safety protocols during move in.

Residence students

Information on move-in details, dining halls, and frequently asked questions about residence can be found on the Residence website.

Students living off campus

If you are living off-campus, the two big considerations are:

  1. Do you need to self-isolate?
  2. Do any of your roommates/housemates need to self-isolate?

If you need to self-isolate:

You will need to make arrangements for 14 days of food and provisions before you arrive.

  • Local grocery stores offer online order services (note: pick-up only; delivery is not provided), like Atlantic Superstore and Walmart
  • Local taxi companies also provide food delivery service. 
  • There are also many options in Halifax for take-out restaurant meals and delivery services.
  • Discover Halifax lists restaurants that are currently open. 
  • Food delivery, groceries and snack providers in Halifax include Room ServiceSkip the DishesDoor Dash.
  • The Dalhousie Student Union also runs a community food bank.

If your roommate/housemate needs to self-isolate:

Provincial regulations state that you must self-monitor but not self-isolate [PDF]. This means that you must maintain a 2 metre (6 feet) distance from your roommate/housemate, use a separate bathroom (if possible), and monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19

You may still leave your house/apartment to go to work, to pick up essential items and run essential errands, but you should not participate in any public gatherings or have visitors in your home. 

You have an important role in keeping our community safe

We ask for your understanding and cooperation in respecting the Nova Scotia Public Health directives (outlined above) that are in place around self-isolation and wearing masks. We all have a responsibility to follow the health-related measures that are instituted by the Province and those put in place by the university, the city, local businesses, and landlords.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19

Students living off campus who are required to self-isolate because of COVID-19 symptoms, COVID-19 exposure, or a positive test should self-isolate in their apartment or house. They should limit their interactions with others in the same apartment/house and ensure that proper cleaning of any shared washroom(s) occurs before and after use. 

Off-campus students are also strongly encouraged to contact Dalhousie’s Student Health and Wellness Centre for support in their symptom management. 

Safety on campus

If you’re spending time on campus this fall/winter, you’ll see some changes as we work to ensure the continued health and safety of everyone who studies and works at Dalhousie.

•    Everyone is expected to maintain a safe physical distance of 2 metres (or 6 feet) at all times.
•    You’ll find directional arrows and one-way signage in many hallways, stairwells and corridors, and some services will be delivered through a physical barrier (such as a plexiglass divider).
•    You’ll be required to wear non-medical masks or face coverings (such as cloth or disposable masks) in indoor common spaces. This includes public spaces like buildings, libraries, dining areas, residences, hallways, stairwells, elevators and common study areas.
•    You are free to remove your non-medical mask in personal, private workspaces and while you’re eating — provided a distance of 2 metres (6 feet) is maintained — and in private residence rooms. You don’t have to wear a mask in a classroom or lab but are encouraged to do so.
•    You’ll see our Custodial Services team ensuring frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces in common building areas, including doorknobs, light switches, handrails, bathrooms and more.

Students taking courses on campus or living in residence can expect to receive more information about specific health and safety protocols in those spaces.


Guidance for online learning

Fall and winter term 2021-22

As communicated in January, our hope is that many tutorials, labs, and small-to-medium-sized classes (of less than 100 students) will be able to be offered safely in person.

Course registration for the 2021–22 academic year will open in June 2021 for returning students. This timing change will allow Dalhousie to be as accurate as possible with the upcoming academic timetable, which will be available to students in May 2021. 

Please contact the Associate Dean Academic in your Faculty if you have questions or for more specific information about your courses or programs.

Online learning website

Our Online Learning website helps students navigate online classes. The site provides information on technology and platforms, what to expect (course delivery, online tests, assignments, grades), resources, and tips for succeeding in an online learning environment.   

Textbooks

Many classes are using e-textbooks and other electronic resources available from the Dal Libraries. If your class is using a physical textbook, you can order it through the Dal Bookstore, and they can be shipped to you in residence, or wherever you're studying from this fall. The Bookstore also offers curbside pick up. Information about textbooks will be included on the syllabus for each of your classes, available through Brightspace.

Connect with your classmates

Download the Dal Mobile app to bring campus to your fingertips and connect with classmates via our social feed.  

Remember to set up your Dal email

Your Dal email is where all official university information is sent, so be sure you have set up your Dal email account.


Be kind to others

It will take a united effort to keep COVID-19 at bay. Being kind and caring to one another during this stressful time will go a long way to helping everyone’s mental health. Check in virtually on friends and family and show compassion for those afflicted with COVID-19. Do your part to stay as healthy as possible. We are all in this together!