COVID-19 Self-Isolation

The required period for self-isolation in PEI is 14 days. A negative COVID-19 test result does not shorten the length of your self-isolation period.
PEI residents who must travel outside of PEI are now asked to register their self-isolation plan – see more here. Non-PEI residents travelling to PEI submit an isolation plan as part of the pre-travel approval process.
The PEI Chief Public Health Office recommends that if you are the only member of your household who needs to self-isolate, that you isolate in a completely separate location. If this is not possible, see below for more information on isolating away from others in your household. If you need assistance in developing an appropriate COVID-19 self-isolation plan for self-isolating in PEI related to travel, please contact Justice and Public Safety at publicsafety@gov.pe.ca  or 902-368-5025 (Monday to Friday 8am-8pm; Saturday and Sunday 8am-4pm).

Self-isolation is a key measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Why do I need to self-isolate?

Self-isolation is important to prevent the spread of COVID-19 because not everyone with COVID-19 will have symptoms and some may only have mild symptoms. Also, when you are exposed to an illness, there is a time between the exposure and when you start to feel sick, known as the incubation period, when you may spread COVID-19.

It is a legal requirement to self-isolate. It is an offence not to isolate and you can be fined.

When do I have to self-isolate?

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you must self-isolate for at least 14 days from when your symptoms began until you are cleared by a public health official.

If you have symptoms and are waiting for your COVID-19 test result, and you have not traveled or been in close contact with a known COVID case.

  • you only need to self-isolate until you receive a negative COVID-19 test result, unless otherwise instructed by a public health official.
    • Members of your household do not have to self-isolate with you, but everyone must practice public health measures including hand washing, enhanced cleaning of shared surfaces and equipment, limit the number of close contacts, and physical distancing. If a child has symptoms and is waiting for a COVID-19 test result, a parent or guardian must stay home with the child.

If you've had close contact with someone who is a confirmed case of COVID-19, you must self-isolate for a period of 14 days from the last day of close contact. Self-isolation is required even if a negative COVID-19 test result is received during this period.

If you have been outside of PEI, upon arrival in the province, you must self-isolate for 14 days or for the duration of your stay (if shorter than 14 days). Residents of the Atlantic provinces (PEI, NB, NS, NL) should check for any current rules and restrictions within the Atlantic travel bubble. There are testing requirements for people in isolation following travel. A negative COVID-19 test result does not shorten the length of your self-isolation period. If your travel outside the province is related to work, you may be eligible to work isolate when you return to PEI. PEI residents travelling frequently for work may be eligible to apply as rotational workers.

PEI residents travelling within Atlantic Canada for some types of same-day travel are not required to self-isolate, subject to some conditions.

If you have been outside of Canada, you are required to isolate for 14 days upon arrival in PEI, regardless of time spent in any federal quarantine facility. There are also testing requirements for people in isolation following travel.

What does it mean to self-isolate?

Self-isolation means:

  • Do not have contact with others (in-person);
  • Stay on your property/the property of your self-isolation location;
  • Do not leave home/your self-isolation location unless absolutely necessary, such as to seek medical care, COVID-19 testing or because of risk to physical safety (e.g. fire);
  • Do not go to school, work, public areas or use public transportation (e.g., buses);
  • Arrange contactless drop-off of groceries, food, medication and other supplies at your door; (curbside pick-up, drive-thrus and entering retail stores is not permitted);
  • Do not attend public events, places of worship, restaurants/bars, arenas, and gyms;
  • Do not host or visit people indoors or outdoors;
  • If you are in a situation where you are the only member of your household who needs to self-isolate, where at all possible, seek a completely separate location to self isolate. If you do not have another option, the other members of your household must self-isolate unless the following conditions are met:
    • You can remain isolated from the other members of your household in a separate room, and ideally with a separate bathroom,
    • If there is a shared bathroom it must be used at separate times and there must be enhanced cleaning of all shared surfaces after use.
    • Kitchens and other spaces in the home cannot be shared; have food and beverages prepared by others and delivered in a non-contact manner
    • If all members of your household cannot ensure that the above requirements can be met, then everyone in the household must self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days.
    • If you need assistance in developing an appropriate COVID-19 self-isolation plan, please contact DeptHW@gov.pe.ca
  • If someone who is self-isolating comes into contact with others during the self-isolation period; the others must self-isolate for 14 days following the last point of contact with the person in self isolation.
  • Avoid contact with pets if you live with other people not in isolation who may also be touching the pet
  • If you are self-isolating in a multi-unit residence such as an apartment building, condo, or hotel, the following requirements also apply:
    • stay on the building's property;
    • if you need to use shared corridors, stairwells, or elevators to enter and exit the building, select times that are less busy, perform hand hygiene before leaving, and maintain physical distancing and wear a non-medical mask  
    • practice physical distancing while outdoors on the building’s property;
    • except for entering and exiting the building, you are not permitted to use any common spaces including laundry,
    • if you have a pet that requires exercise beyond the confines of the property, make arrangements with a friend or family member
    • if staying in a hotel, communicate with the hotel administration regarding any protocols they may have in place for individuals in self isolation.

What are the testing requirements for people in isolation following travel outside of PEI?

Everyone arriving in PEI who is in isolation and is not already being tested by the province of PEI, is required to be tested on days 0-1, 4-6, and 9-11. For a family arriving and isolating together, up to two people per family are required to be tested. All other self-isolation requirements remain in place. Information on how to get a COVID-19 test is available online.

Some individuals may be required to test more frequently based on an assessment of their self-isolation plan.

For international travelers, PEI testing requirements must be completed at PEI testing sites; federal border testing and federal testing kits are not considered part of the provincial testing regime.

A negative COVID-19 test result does not shorten the length of your self-isolation period.

What else should I consider if I need to self-isolate?

Other areas you should consider if you need to self-isolate includes:

What else can I do to stop the spread of infection in my home?

Proper hygiene and hand-washing can help minimize exposure to COVID-19.

Keep your hands clean

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Dry with disposable paper towels or a reusable towel that is replaced when it becomes wet.
  • Remove dirt with a wet wipe and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Cover your cough or sneeze

  • Cough or sneeze into the bend of your arm or into a tissue.
  • Throw used tissues in the garbage. Wash your hands immediately after or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Avoid contaminating common items and surfaces

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that you touch often, like toilets, bedside tables, doorknobs, phones and television remotes at least once a day.
  • Do not share personal items, such as toothbrushes, towels, bed linen, utensils or electronic devices.
  • Use regular household disinfectants or diluted bleach (1 part bleach and 9 parts water) to disinfect.
  • Place contaminated items that cannot be cleaned in a lined container, secure the contents and dispose with other household waste.
  • Put the toilet lid down before flushing.

Care for yourself

  • Monitor for symptoms. If you become ill, call 811 for an assessment or visit a drop-in testing clinic.
  • If your symptoms worsen after you have called 811, call again for further screening. If symptoms become serious and you need medical attention, call 911.
  • Get some rest, eat a balanced diet and stay in touch with others by phone, social media or Internet.

Once your self-isolation period is complete, follow general Public Health Guidance.

I need to seek emergency medical care - do I need to notify someone or call ahead?

If you need to seek emergency medical care while you are in self isolation, call 911 and/or go directly the emergency department as needed.  Inform your initial contact, whether via telephone or in person, that you are in self isolation.

Do I have to self-isolate if I am coming to PEI to visit someone in palliative care?

Individuals can visit a person in an end of life situation. If the person is a resident of palliative care at a PEI facility, you must get permission from the facility to visit before travelling to PEI. Pre-travel approval is also required to enter the province.

Upon arrival in PEI, you must self-isolate for 14 days or for the duration of your stay, if shorter. Residents of Atlantic provinces (NB, NS, NL) have to check for any current rules and restrictions within the Atlantic travel bubble.

You can only come out of self-isolation during the time you are visiting the dying person provided the following are met:

  • Undergo testing within 24 hours of entering the province
  • Self-isolate until the first negative test is received
  • After receiving a negative test, continue self-isolation until 14 days are complete, except when visiting the individual in an end-of life situation and during the visit, you must
    • keep a 2 metre (6 feet) distance from others, except the palliative individual,
    • wear a non-medical mask,
    • practice hand hygiene and cough etiquette,
    • if the person at end of life is residing at a facility, follow all measures imposed by the facility, and
    • follow all other general public health measures
  • Undergo follow-up testing on days 4-6 and 9-11
  • Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and seek testing immediately if experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms

This self-isolation exemption period does not apply if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Information on how to get a COVID-19 test is available here.

Do I have to self-isolate if I am coming to PEI to attend a visitation, funeral, and/or burial service?

Family members are permitted to travel to PEI to attend a visitation, funeral and/or burial service.

Pre-travel approval is required.

Upon arrival in PEI, you must self-isolate for 14 days or for the duration of your stay, if shorter. Residents of Atlantic provinces (NB, NS, NL) have to check for any current rules and restrictions within the Atlantic travel bubble.

You can only come out of self-isolation during the time you are attending a wake, funeral or burial service, providing the following are met:

  • Undergo testing within 24 hours of entering the province,
  • Self-isolate until the first negative test is received,
  • After receiving a negative test, continue self-isolation until 14 days are complete, except while attending wake, funeral or burial provided you are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and:
    • keep a 2 metre (6 feet) distance from others,
    • wear a non-medical mask,
    • practice hand hygiene and cough etiquette, and
    • follow all other general public health measures
  • Undergo follow-up testing on days 4-6 and 9-11,
  • Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and seek testing immediately if experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms

This self-isolation exemption period does not apply if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Whenever possible, individuals are asked to plan to be in the province twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the event to ensure they can be tested and receive their negative test results.

Information on how to get a COVID-19 test is available here.

Also, please notify the funeral home or other organization hosting the wake, funeral or burial that you will be attending regarding your self isolation status, prior to the event.

What does an Atlantic Bubble opening mean for people in self-isolation in PEI related to travel within the Atlantic Provinces?

When an Atlantic Province Travel bubble opens, if you:

  • arrived into PEI from an Atlantic province, and have not been outside of the Atlantic bubble in the previous 14 days,
  • are in self-isolation due to your travel within the Atlantic bubble,
  • have not had contact with anyone who has been outside of the Atlantic bubble in the previous 14 days (except rotational workers who are frequently tested) you are not required to continue self-isolating. All other public health measures must continue to be maintained.

Fines and reporting

The Chief Public Health Officer may issue a fine to anyone who is not following self-isolation rules. For details, download Public Health Order for COVID-19 Self-Isolation.

If you have a concern about someone who is not complying with the rules of self-isolation, call the COVID-19 information line at 1-800-958-6400 (toll-free).

Published date: 
May 4, 2021
Health and Wellness

General Inquiries

Department of Health and Wellness
4th Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6414
Fax: 902-368-4121

DeptHW@gov.pe.ca