Farmers : COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Government’s top priority is protecting the health and safety of Islanders and limiting the spread of COVID-19 in our province.

Health officials recognize that essential services, including food production, will have to be maintained even under the current restrictions. Your government is taking steps that will allow for these services to be delivered.

Advice for Farms and Agriculture-related Business

What Government of PEI programs for COVID-19 can I apply to?

The Government of PEI has recently announced a number of COVID-19 assistance programs for agriculture businesses and workers, including:

For information about these and other programs, visit:

Call 1-866-222-1751 between 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday or email

COVID-19 Financial Relief Measures Guide

The PEI Department of Agriculture and Land has pulled together a Financial Relief Measures Guide on the financial relief measures that have been put in place by both Federal and Provincial governments. This document will continue to be updated as new measures are introduced.

If I have a COVID-related agriculture question is not answered on this page, who can I contact?

For questions not answered on this page, email

COVID-19 – Clarification of Travel within the Atlantic

Now is a very important time to clarify travel within Atlantic Canada and some of the public health guidance around that travel for the agricultural industry.
If you are a PEI resident and you must travel to other provinces within Atlantic Canada, you may do so without having to self-isolate upon return if your travel is for the following purposes: 

  • Medical or dental appointments 
  •  Activities involving very brief, physically distant, interaction with others, such as transportation, delivery, and pick-up of goods 
  • Child custody related travel 
  • Picking-up students following the Transporting Travellers to Self-Isolation Location Guidance
  • Dropping off a passenger at Halifax or Moncton airport and immediately returning home to PEI

…….AND you return to PEI on the same day as you departed.  That means you:

DO NOT stay overnight 

DO NOT shop 

DO NOT visit public places such as shopping malls and restaurants 

DO NOT visit friends or family 

DO NOT attend meetings, conferences, or events.

We would like to clarify that the exemption is not intended for attending agricultural events or having any type of interactions (meetings, dining in a restaurant, etc.) as they would be considered high-risk for potential exposure to COVID-19.

Please remember to wear a non-medical mask when outside of your vehicle; pack a lunch where possible, or if not possible, use drive-through options; use pay at pump where possible if you need gas; and adhere to all public health measures in the jurisdiction you are visiting.

If you do take regular same-day trips within Atlantic Canada, you are advised to get tested weekly as an additional precaution.

Please remember to keep your Confederation Bridge or Northumberland Ferry receipt to verify your departure time and to confirm it was a same day trip.

Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should immediately visit a COVID-19 Drop-in Clinic
to be tested and stay home (self-isolate) until results are received.

    Frequently Asked Questions for Farmers

    Can I operate my farm as usual?

    Farms can continue to operate as long as operators follow the Chief Public Health Officer’s advice about controlling the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

    The Chief Public Health Officer considers agricultural services to be an essential service. Because the provision of food is necessary for the health and safety of the public, provisions have been made to permit agricultural services workers to cross provincial and national borders.

    Can I access needed inputs and service providers, like feed, equipment, animal handlers or veterinary specialists, from out of province?

    Our food supply system is an essential service. We’re committed to ensuring agriculture can continue at this time and that all needed inputs and support services are available for our food producers. Follow federal and provincial information for the most up-to-date information on procedures and requirements for inter-provincial shipping and travel.

    Who can I contact for questions about screening people for entry at the Confederation Bridge?

    Contact or call 902-368-5025

    I need to visit farms regularly, how can I do that safely?

    Please follow public safety best practices and precautions outlined below:

    I need to go on a farm, how can I do that safely?
      Entering PREMISES Entering a FIELD
    1. Before going on a farm:

    Call first and arrange a visit

    Ask if anyone on the farm has been self-isolating due to travel or illness.

    Ask what extra steps have been taken in the barn with respect to cleaning and sanitation.

    Schedule your visit and ask that no one else be in the barn / farm area that you will be accessing.

    Call first and arrange a visit

     Ask if anyone on the farm has been self-isolating due to travel or illness.

    Schedule your visit and ask that no one else be in the field that you will be accessing

    2. While on a farm:

    Follow all standard biosecurity protocols for entering barn / farm areas.

    Keep visits as short as possible.

    Wear gloves and boot covers (as appropriate)

    Minimize touching as much as possible.

    Follow all standard biosecurity protocols for entering fields (i.e. disinfection).

    Wear gloves.

    Minimize touching as much as possible.

    When entering fields, you must not be in groups. Ideally one person per field, however if the work requires more than one person, limit the group to four people from your company/organization and avoid car-pooling. 

    Do not ask a farmer or farm employee to accompany/assist you.

    3. When leaving a farm:

    Clean all equipment with disinfectant prior to putting it back in your vehicle.

    Remove your boot covers (while still wearing gloves) and put them in a garbage bag.

    Remove your gloves and put in garbage bag.

    Sanitize your hands before getting back in your vehicle.

    Clean all equipment with disinfectant prior to putting it back in your vehicle.

    Remove your gloves and put in garbage bag.

    Sanitize your hands before getting back in your vehicle.

    Recommended supplies:
    • Gloves
    • Boot covers
    • Garbage bags
    • Sanitizer / disinfectant
    • Gloves
    • Garbage bags
    • Sanitizer / disinfectant

    Business Risk Management Programs

    Can I still sign up for Agri-Insurance, Agri-Stability and other business risk management programs?

    Yes, these programs are essential business risk management programs and will be offered this year. However, due to COVID-19, we will be following public health guidelines for client safety and for the safety of our staff.


    The Prince Edward Island Agricultural Insurance Corporation is pleased to announce that the provincial government through the Department of Agriculture and Land will be offering all producers a 10% discount on producers AgriInsurance premiums for the 2020 and 2021 growing seasons as announced April 23rd, 2020.
    The application deadlines to sign up for AgriInsurance are:

    • Livestock Insurance (dairy and beef)  - March 25, 2021
    • Forage Insurance  - April 30, 2021
    • Production Insurance  - May 31st 2021

    Contact your Crop Insurance Agent, or contact sends e-mail) and we will be sure to help you out. We wish all producers a safe planting season!

    Visit AgriInsurance (Production Insurance) for more information and to apply


    The AgriStability program will continue. We are still processing and will continue to process files submitted to the program. We gladly receive information via email or mail. Our head office is closed to the public, but if you have information you need to drop off, we ask you to call the office and let us know when you are coming. We have a safe drop off the procedure in place to accept documents. 

    Learn more at AgriStability Program


    The surveys conducted for AgriReovery are completed online and will remain open into April. We are working closely with the industry groups to make sure we get all the information needed.

    Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) Programs


    All of the Department's non-business risk management programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) agreement will open for application at 8:30 a.m. on  April 1, 2021.

    Please note that only projects that comply with current Public Health Directives related to COVID-19 will be eligible for funding. 

    Livestock Industry

    Can farm animals get sick with COVID-19 either from humans or spread to humans?

    There is no current evidence to show that farms, animals, or pets can become sick with COVID-19 nor spread the virus to humans. As a precautionary measure, it is recommended that people with COVID-19 symptoms, and those who are self-isolating due to contact with a COVID-19 case, should avoid close contact with animals during their illness.

    I have an animal health emergency; can I still call my veterinarian?

    Veterinarians and many other agriculture service providers are considered essential services. They will be able to provide services, as long as public health protocols are followed.

    Mental Health

    Are you feeling the weight of social distance and an uncertain planting season? 

    Call the Island Helpline at 1-800-218-2885 any time, any day of the year. Remember that the Farmer Assistance Program 1-800-736-8006 is available for farmers, farm families and farm employees.

    Organic Industry

    How will COVID-19 impact my organic audit and certification?

    In response to COVID-19, all stakeholders in the Canada Organic Regime (COR) are committed to working together to provide maximum possible flexibility in the implementation of COR, while maintaining integrity in the organic standard.

    While COVID-19 mitigation measures are in place, CFIA is allowing flexibility in Certifying Bodies (CBs) inspection frequency for renewal of organic certification. Most CBs, including Eco-Cert and Pro-Cert have indicated that they will likely be requiring remote audits by teleconference to complement the inspection of documentation submitted. CB staff is working remotely, and all farmers are encouraged to communicate with their CB by email, if possible. All required documentation required for audit is to be submitted electronically, if at all possible.

    Additional resources:

    PEI Analytical Laboratory

    Is the lab open for feed, special products, soil, dairy and water testing services?

    PEI Analytical Laboratories is committed to providing testing services to our clients at this difficult time while respecting the guidelines outlined by the CPHO.

    Public access to PEI Analytical Laboratories will remain 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. 

    Please ensure that the sample submission form is completed prior to arrival at the laboratory. Do not hesitate to contact us at 902-620-3300 if you have any questions.

    For more information, visit PEI Analytical Laboratories

    Pesticide Applicator Certificate

    How will I purchase and apply the pesticides I need for the 2021 cropping season if my license has expired?

    Expired Class A Pesticide Certificates -  For further information, please contact Thane Clarke at (902) 368-5599 or e-mail at

      Temporary Foreign Workers and Essential Workers from Out-of-Province

      What are recommended guidelines for farms employing temporary foreign workers (TFWs) and domestic workers?

      Download Guidance Document for Farms Employing Temporary Foreign Workers

      Who can I contact with questions about temporary foreign workers in agriculture?

      Questions and answers about temporary foreign workers can be found on the Government of Canada's COVID-19 Information for Industry page. If you have a question not answered on the FAQ page, email

      Do essential workers coming to PEI have to self-isolate?

      Yes, if an farm employee comes to PEI from a province outside the Atlantic provinces, the employee must self-isolate for 14 days. If the employee will be in PEI for less than 14 days, they must self-isolate for the duration of the stay. Essential workers are allowed to go to work during the self-isolation period. The employee must travel directly to and from work everyday, without any stops. When the employee is not at work or travelling to or from, the employee must stay inside the personal dwelling and property. There must be a support person in place who can get groceries, medication or anything else needed by the employee during the 14 day isolation period.

      Government of Canada

      How is Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) preserving integrity of Canada’s Food System

      The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's COVID-19 website contains notices to industry regarding actions to preserve the integrity of Canada's food safety system.

      What is the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association response to COVID-19?

      Canadian Veterinary Medical Association has resources on keeping pets and livestock safe. Livestock producers should follow normal biosecurity measures as always. This includes limiting visitors or workers who may have travelled to, or been in contact with, someone from an affected area.

      What information is available from the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council?

      The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council have created a dedicated COVID-19 webpage with the latest information, recommendations, employee management tips, and tools. These will help you respond to the pandemic and limit the impact and spread of COVID-19 within your business. Up to date information on temporary foreign workers and best practices for labour during times of disruption is also available.

      Get Accurate Information

      Make a Plan – Being Prepared is Good Business

      • Make sure you have a business continuity or emergency plan in place. 
      • Think about what you will do if a number of your employees become sick 
      • Support employees who may become ill. Talk to your staff about flexible hours or alternative work options should they need to stay at home for an extended period 
      • Support proper infection prevention and control measures in your business. Post hand washing signs, provide alcohol based hand rub to encourage frequent hand hygiene and ensure space/surface cleaning is completed 
      • Avoid requesting doctors’ notes from employees who become sick or self-isolate

      Who can I contact for more information?

      Department of Agriculture and Land
      5th Floor, Jones Building
      11 Kent Street
      Charlottetown, PEI C1A 7N8
      Telephone: (902) 368-4880

      Published date: 
      September 3, 2021
      Agriculture and Land

      General Inquiries

      Department of Agriculture and Land
      5th Floor, Jones Building
      11 Kent Street,
      P.O. Box 2000,
      Charlottetown, PEI C1A 7N8

      Phone: 902-368-4880
      Fax: 902-368-4857

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      Agriculture Information Desk
      1-866-PEI FARM (734-3276)