COVID-19 on P.E.I.: What's happening Wednesday, May 20
Seasonal residents would have to self-isolate for 14 days
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."
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
- Charlottetown police say calls are down about 23 per cent in March, April and May compared to last year.
- Twins in Bethel have been outed as the benefactors leaving gifts on doorsteps to cheer up neighbours during the pandemic.
- Charlottetown police officers say positive messages written in chalk on the sidewalk outside the police station are "very touching" — especially since they come from youths.
- P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission could see a drop in sales this summer with no tourists
- Here is information for living with the COVID-19 pandemic on P.E.I. — including information on government relief programs, physical distancing measures, and essential health services.
- Here are charts tracking COVID-19 numbers and a timeline of COVID-19-related events on P.E.I.
COVID-19: What you need to know
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Common symptoms include:
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.