Proof of vaccine may be ticket to self-isolation exemption for P.E.I.'s seasonal residents
Summer visitors excited at possible self-isolation exemption
Some seasonal residents on P.E.I. are thrilled at the prospect of coming to the Island this summer without the need to self-isolate for 14 days — provided they have proof of vaccination — while others are hoping the exemption extends to people who don't own property but are coming home to visit family.
Premier Dennis King provided some optimism for seasonal residents Tuesday when he told the legislature that proof of vaccination could come with benefits.
"I think what you're going to see in the days ahead from the Chief Public Health Office, not just in this province but others, is that there will be different restrictions for those who have a proof of vaccination," he said.
That was good news for Doug Hall, especially when the U.S. border eventually opens. Hall lives in the U.S. but has a Canadian passport and owns land on P.E.I., where he spends most of his summers.
"If we can do it without quarantining, that will be awesome, it will be fantastic," he said. "We can see a future which is awesome."
Stephanie Shreenan, an Islander living in Alberta, doesn't own property on P.E.I. but she, like many others, hasn't seen her family on P.E.I. in a long time. She hopes the new rules will be extended to family members so she can come home more easily this summer.
"Having the ability to go there with proof of vaccination, that would be something that I would look into and that I would like to do."
Patricia Revell, a seasonal resident who lives in Ontario, said she's about to get her first shot of the vaccine, but wonders if one will be enough to allow her the exemption.
"I understand the need to be protective so for us it just might be one more summer of not being able to do all the things we want to do."
More details coming
In the legislature Wednesday, the premier said the province is looking at summer travel and what research and data says, but did not give any details of how an exemption might work.
He said when 80 per cent of the adult population in P.E.I. and Canada is vaccinated there will be a "freer version of travel" but until then, some health protocols will remain in place.
King said seasonal residents will still have to submit travel plans, and may still need to be tested for COVID-19 when they arrive on the Island.
He said full details on how the system will work this year could be released by the middle of this month.
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With files from Laura Meader