P.E.I.'s pandemic freedoms could be 'ripped from us,' warns premier
‘This isn't ideal, but sadly this is needed’
P.E.I. Premier Dennis King appeared at the province's weekly pandemic briefing Tuesday to urge Islanders to remain on their guard as the second wave of COVID-19 sweeps across Canada and around the world.
The province renewed its state of emergency for another 30 days Tuesday morning, and King said he expects those renewals to continue into the foreseeable future.
With no active cases of COVID-19, and a total of 64 cases diagnosed on the Island, King described P.E.I. as the safest place in Canada with regards to the pandemic. He said that while Islanders have been committed to doing the work to keep the province safe, they need to keep doing that work.
"The simple things that we are enjoying right now — like taking our children to school, taking our children to hockey or ringette practice, meeting our friends for supper at a restaurant or attending a concert to support local artists — all could be very quickly and easily ripped from us if we aren't vigilant."
All these things are possible because the Island has come together as a community and determined it is important to look out for each other, King added.
Borders staying closed
King acknowledged the work is emotionally difficult, particularly with the Christmas holidays approaching — usually a time when Islanders look forward to having family and loved ones visit from across Canada, or perhaps travelling to make visits themselves.
Those visits are still possible, he said, but only with a self-isolation plan.
"We know that this isn't ideal, but sadly this is needed. We cannot risk going backwards," King said.
"It is normal that we are getting and feeling antsy."
The province continues to look ahead to a time when Atlantic borders can be opened safely to the rest of Canada, the premier said, adding that that P.E.I. officials will take great care before making any decision to reopen.