More restrictions to be eased Feb. 17 as P.E.I. outlines 3-step COVID-19 transition plan
Island announced 13th COVID-related death
The P.E.I. government has approved a three-step plan to navigate through COVID-19 restrictions, Premier Dennis King said Tuesday during a news briefing.
Step 1 is scheduled for Feb. 17. Fully vaccinated travellers to P.E.I. will no longer need to isolate with appropriate testing.
The P.E.I. Vax Pass will still be in effect, with the further relaxing of the following restrictions:
- Personal gatherings up to 20 people.
- Organized gatherings up to 50 per cent in capacity in venue, with space maximized to spread people out as much as possible.
- Sport and recreation with interaction within six feet, up to 50 participants/day (includes interprovincial games, no big tournaments).
- Wedding receptions/dances up to 50 people total.
- Restaurants, fitness facilities, retail, and other venues at 50 per cent capacity, with space maximized to spread people out as much as possible.
Step 2 is tentatively set for March 17 and allows for personal gatherings inside up to 20 people and outside up to 50, and organized gatherings are permitted for up to 75 per cent capacity of a venue. Restaurants, fitness facilities and retail can also operate at 75 per cent capacity, with physical distancing being enforced.
Step 3 is slated for April 7. This final step is when it is anticipated masking will no longer be required, the P.E.I. Vax Pass will be discontinued and there will be no limits on gatherings.
King said the plan is not a declaration that COVID-19 is over or that the province is saying "mission accomplished." Rather, he said, it is a way to phase out restrictions while encouraging people to get vaccinated and be careful.
King said it's important to provide dates even though they are subject to change.
"People who have been through this for a long time need to be able to see what that date is. April 7 doesn't seem that far from today when you think about it."
King said he expects many people will choose to voluntarily follow health measures after April 7. For example, he said he still plans to wear a mask when flying in an airplane.
"You don't do something for two years the way we've done it and just brush it off and say it's over."
P.E.I. records 13th COVID-related death
Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.'s chief public health officer, also announced the Island's 13th COVID-related death, a person over the age of 80, at the briefing.
The province announced its first deaths related to the pandemic Jan. 14.
There are 264 new COVID-19 cases on P.E.I., and 1,819 active, as of Tuesday. There are nine people in hospital being treated for COVID-19, including one in ICU.
Morrison said 93 per cent of Island residents over 12 have had two doses of vaccine. She said 65 per cent of children five to 11 have had one dose.