Almost 1,800 people screened at Confederation Bridge, airport
People in quarantine called daily
As of Wednesday, a total of 1,758 have been screened at the entry points into P.E.I. Those allowed in have been ordered to self-isolate under the directive of a public health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Checkpoints at Confederation Bridge and Charlottetown Airport have been in place since March 21, and the Island continues to enhance its screening of people arriving in the province, which could now lead to people being on the hook for the cost of a quick return flight at the airport.
Currently there are only two public entry points to the Island, the airport and Confederation Bridge. People arriving through either must pass through a checkpoint to determine if their travel is essential.
People allowed into the province include:
- Permanent residents coming back home.
- University students returning from study outside the province.
- People travelling for medical appointments.
- Locums who backfill doctors here.
- Others travelling for essential work, such as truckers.
Currently there are 1,585 people in self-isolation on P.E.I. Each one is called every day by public health officials to check that they are following guidelines.
New airport measures
At Wednesday's briefing, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison reminded of the border restrictions.
"As the weather gets nicer and summer gets closer, we certainly normally would see an increase in visitors to our Island," said Morrison.
"I would like to remind anyone wanting to travel to P.E.I. that it is not the time to come for non-essential reasons, and you really should be coming for essential reasons only."
Many travellers have been turned back at Confederation Bridge. On Friday, the province instituted a state of emergency, giving it new powers to turn people away.
Arrivals at the airport may now be denied entry. If they are, they will need to immediately rebook the soonest available return flight. If the flight is not until the next day, they will need to find a suitable place to self-isolate, such as a hotel, until their flight leaves.
Travellers may be responsible for any added travel costs, the province said.
So far no one has been turned around at the airport. The province is recommending that people planning to travel to P.E.I. call 902-894-0385 or email in advance to ease their entry. Thousands of people have been using those contacts requesting entry, the province said.
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With files from Nicole Williams