P.E.I. now permitting recreational family visits for people outside Atlantic bubble

Family members of Island residents are now able to apply for an approved visit to the Island this summer, but if accepted, will be required to undergo 14 days in self-isolation.

Pre-approval for travel will be required

Family members of Islanders will now be allowed to apply for approval to travel to the province from outside the Atlantic bubble. (John Robertson/CBC)

Family members of Island residents are now able to apply for an approved visit to the Island this summer, but if accepted, will be required to undergo 14 days in self-isolation.

Dr. Heather Morrison announced the opening of the family connection stream during Tuesday's weekly COVID-19 briefing.

Family members of P.E.I. residents who are Canadian citizens or have permanent residency status, but who live outside Atlantic Canada, can fill out a declaration form on the Department of Justice and Public Safety website to request a visit to the Island.

"We know that many Islanders have strong connections with family members who live elsewhere in Canada. Many of these families travel to P.E.I. every year, and these visits are important to maintain their connection with their Island family and friends," Morrison said.

"We also know that many Island families look forward and enjoy when their family from away come home for their annual summer visit."

Family members who live elsewhere in Canada will be able to come home to P.E.I., but will be required to complete a declaration form and receive pre-travel approval, says Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison. 1:31

Last month, the province started an application process for family members of Islanders in need of support, for example, a relative in long-term care.

This family connection stream announced Tuesday will allow for relatives to visit the Island, if approved, for recreational and seasonal purposes. There was no limit announced or published related to how long that person can stay.

People wanting to travel to P.E.I. under the family connection stream will first have to complete their declaration form to receive pre-approval before arriving to the Island. An Island resident will also be required to sign an attestation as part of that process.

The attestation is a form, signed by the family member on the Island, to "show that a P.E.I. resident needs and/or welcomes your visit as a family member," according to the website. The P.E.I. resident must download a form, print and sign it for the applicant to include as part of the online application.

Applicants will also have to provide a self-isolation plan, as well as a health assessment declaration.

"Due to the anticipated volume and the need for a thorough review, individuals can expect the processing of their applications to take several days," Morrison said.

If approved, those visitors will still be required to undergo a 14-day isolation period, and will be contacted by Operation Isolation workers.

People who do not have pre-approved travel will not be permitted entry. For international travellers, the government website says family members should consult with the Canadian Border Services Agency before submitting the application. 

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