PEI·Video

COVID-19 on P.E.I.: What's happening Wednesday, May 20

P.E.I. will begin the process of allowing seasonal residents into the province beginning June 1, Premier Dennis King said Wednesday during a COVID-19 briefing.

Seasonal residents would have to self-isolate for 14 days

"In most cases, these individuals consider Prince Edward Island home," says Premier Dennis King 0:57

P.E.I. will begin the process of allowing about 2,300 Canadian seasonal residents into the province beginning June 1, Premier Dennis King said Wednesday during a COVID-19 briefing.

Seasonal residents must be pre-approved for travel at the Confederation Bridge and Charlottetown airport — providing travel documents, proof of property ownership, and a written plan of how they will self-isolate for 14 days when they arrive, he said.

"They make a tremendous contribution to our social, economic and cultural well being," King said, noting many seasonal residents are from P.E.I. and have moved away.

"They consider Prince Edward Island home."

King said there are about 3,500 seasonal residents who come to P.E.I. each year, including about 1,150 from the United States and 50 from other parts of the world.

U.S. border remains closed

Only seasonal residents from within Canada will be permitted as the border with the U.S. remains closed until at least June 21.

King said there is always risk involved in allowing more people into P.E.I., but it's also important to manage and live with that risk. He said P.E.I. will be prepared to reintroduce restrictions if necessary.

"The biggest part of this will be the self-isolation," he said. "The onus will be on us to make sure we monitor that but also those seasonal Island residents who are coming here to get back to their P.E.I. home."

More events are being scheduled outside of the busy summer months to attract visitors looking for unique experiences. (John Robertson/CBC)

Phase 3 of P.E.I.'s ease-back plan also starts June 1. Phase 3 includes organized outdoor sports as well as the reopening of indoor dining at restaurants and other services.

Phase 2 begins Friday

Phase 2, which includes the reopening of some retail outlets and services such as hair salons, begins Friday.

King encouraged Islanders to support local businesses when they reopen. He said the province is working on a marketing plan that will focus on staycations.

Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.'s chief public health officer, said it is up to each business to decide whether they think it is safe enough or feasible to open.

P.E.I. tourism operators have been anxiously waiting for answers before deciding whether to reopen this summer.

P.E.I. has had 27 confirmed cases of COVID-19. All have recovered. Morrison said another 580 negative tests results have come back since the start of the weekend.

The province has been working with the Chief Public Health Office (CPHO) on guidelines for unlicensed home-based child-care centres. 

The protocols are very similar for licensed and unlicensed centres. In Phase 2, unlicensed centres can reopen and take care of up to seven children, as long as they have space to maintain physical distancing and have an operational plan that meets the requirements set out by the CPHO.

Also in the news

Further resources

COVID-19: What you need to know

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.

Health Canada has built a self-assessment tool.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Isolate yourself and call 811. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested. A health professional at 811 will give you advice and instructions.

How can I protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean regularly touched surfaces regularly.
  • Practise physical distancing.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.

More COVID-19 stories from CBC P.E.I.

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