PEI

P.E.I. turning eye to seasonal residents, rotational workers to tighten borders

As the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic reaches crisis levels in parts of Canada, P.E.I. is reconsidering how seasonal residents and rotational workers are allowed entry into the province.

Premier hopes any new restrictions will not be in place for long

P.E.I. is better prepared to deal with COVID-19 hospitalizations than it would have been a year ago, says Premier Dennis King. (CBC)

As the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic reaches crisis levels in parts of Canada, P.E.I. is reconsidering how seasonal residents and rotational workers are allowed entry into the province.

P.E.I. has some of the most stringent border controls in the country, but Premier Dennis King suggested over the weekend the province would need to tighten them further. Speaking on Island Morning Monday, King provided more details about what was being considered.

"Streams such as seasonal residents, etc, we will probably look at deferring some of those from outside of the Atlantic bubble for the time being," he said.

"[Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather] Morrison has also indicated that we need to look at how our rotational workers are self-isolating here, or work isolating, and see if we can just tighten that up."

Other streams, such as family connection and compassionate grounds, may see added requirements, such as testing before and after arrival.

King said he hoped any new restrictions would last for just two to three weeks. A briefing to provide more details is being planned for later on Monday.

'Not immune'

P.E.I. saw its first hospitalizations of the pandemic in the last few days, and that is part of what prompted reconsidering border controls.

"It's just a further demonstration that we're not immune to COVID here," said King.

King said the province is better prepared to deal with those hospitalizations than it would have been a year ago.

A month ago, the Atlantic premiers were hoping a second Atlantic bubble would open Monday. In the face of growing case numbers in New Brunswick, that reopening was put off at least two weeks.

King said there hasn't been a lot of talk about the Atlantic bubble in the last few days, with people in his office focused on other issues.

"We hope each day it will get better as we work towards May 3rd and I guess we'll see at that time," said King.

"Today's situation is vastly different than a week ago and as we cast our gaze forward a week it doesn't look like in this country things are going to get any better."

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Island Morning

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