P.E.I. seasonal residents allowed to return, starting June 8
‘The mental well-being of families being reunited has been at the top of our list of priorities’
P.E.I. is beginning to process applications for seasonal residents and family reunifications for this summer.
Premier Dennis King outlined the new plan at the province's regular weekly COVID-19 pandemic briefing Tuesday.
With outbreaks happening across the country, the province had paused processing applications to come to P.E.I. Applicants can start arriving June 8. As with last year, arrivals will be staggered, with no more than 500 households granted entry per week. Travel will need to be pre-approved, which will include a 14-day self-isolation plan.
This year, people entering the province will have to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arriving. They will also be tested at their point of entry to the province. This will be required whether the people arriving have been vaccinated or not.
"In addition, and new this year, our enforcement teams will conduct random isolation checks to ensure the highest level of compliance possible," said King.
He said he is hopeful some of these protocols will change as pandemic conditions change through the summer.
King said he had hoped the Atlantic bubble would be open by now, but outbreaks in other parts of the region have delayed it.
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison mentioned during the briefing that Atlantic Canada currently has 1,659 active cases. When the bubble opened in July there were five.
"The mental well-being of families being reunited has been at the top of our list of priorities. We know that the last 15 months or so have been very, very difficult and that far too many of us have not seen our loved ones and we need to address that," said King.
"The Atlantic bubble will open as soon as it is safe to do so and I'm hopeful that will happen prior to Canada Day although as of today we have no firm date."
The province will continue to be careful, King said, but it is also important to move forward toward normal conditions. He said the province will do that, as it has throughout the pandemic, while referring to the best science available.