Moving Forward: FAQs
What is the purpose of the Moving Forward plan?
The past 15 months have been a journey for all Islanders. Moving Forward is a plan to guide PEI through the last months of the global pandemic. In keeping with PEI’s approach to-date, Moving Forward presents a measured, 5-step approach to re-opening the province and easing public health restrictions, until the time when the state of public health emergency is lifted and we live with COVID-19 sustainably.
The steps in Moving Forward are based on principles related to vaccination status of PEI residents and visitors, and testing of everyone who enters the province at points-of-entry. The steps in Moving Forward will take effect only if conditions are right to do so and will be adjusted as necessary, as with all of our plans throughout the pandemic.
Decisions on re-opening to travel and easing public health measures as outlined in Moving Forward will be based on achieving PEI vaccine targets, a low level of disease and controlled transmission in PEI, Atlantic provinces and Canada.
What does the Moving Forward plan mean for the Atlantic Bubble?
The successful 2020 Atlantic Bubble allowed people from within Atlantic Canada to travel between provinces without self-isolation. When the Bubble was established on July 3rd last year there were five (5) active cases in the region and variants of concern had not yet been identified. The COVID-19 situation in the region is much different this year.
Moving Forward proposes to ease travel restrictions, effective June 27, allowing people from other Atlantic provinces (and Island residents travelling within Atlantic Canada) to come to PEI without having to self-isolate, provided they are fully or partially vaccinated against COVID-19, get tested on entry to PEI, and complete a self-declaration form. Individuals who are not vaccinated will be required to self-isolate. Individuals who are vaccinated will be required to show proof of their vaccine status, if asked. It is expected that the self-isolation requirement for unvaccinated individuals traveling to PEI from within Atlantic Canada will be in place for the summer of 2021.
Will visitors require pre-travel approval to come to PEI?
Effective June 27 (proposed), individuals within Atlantic Canada can travel to PEI provided they complete a self-declaration form. There will be no travel streams for travellers from within Atlantic Canada.
Travellers from outside Atlantic Canada will continue to require pre-travel approval and be eligible to enter the province under one of the existing travel streams.
It is projected that travel streams (such as for workers, family connections and seasonal residents) and pre-travel approval for travellers from outside of Atlantic Canada will remain in place until July 28, 2021.
Will visitors be able to come to PEI this summer and not have to self-isolate?
Individuals who are vaccinated will be able to travel to PEI and not self-isolate as follows:
- Proposed for June 27, there will be no self-isolation requirement for fully or partially vaccinated travelers from the Atlantic provinces, with testing;
- Proposed for July 28, there will be no self-isolation requirement for fully vaccinated travelers from Canadian provinces and territories outside of Atlantic Canada, with testing.
Who will have to self-isolate when they come to PEI this summer?
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals travelling to PEI from outside the Atlantic provinces, including returning PEI residents, will be required to self-isolate if they travel to PEI this summer, with testing.
International travelers will be required to self-isolate, and will also be subject to federal travel measures.
Will PEI residents have to self-isolate after travelling?
PEI residents returning to PEI from travel will follow the same travel measures as visitors:
- Proposed for June 27, there will be no self-isolation requirement for fully or partially vaccinated PEI residents returning to PEI from the Atlantic provinces, with testing;
- Proposed for July 28, there will be no self-isolation for fully vaccinated PEI residents returning from Canadian provinces and territories outside Atlantic Canada, with testing;
- Unvaccinated PEI residents returning from Atlantic Canada, and unvaccinated and partially vaccinated PEI residents returning from other Canadian provinces, will have to self-isolate when they return to PEI, with testing.
Will PEI residents be able to visit other provinces and territories without having to self-isolate in those jurisdictions?
Other provinces and territories, including other Atlantic provinces, may have travel measures in place that impact travel to those jurisdictions. PEI residents are urged to review travel measures in other jurisdictions before travelling.
What does ‘shortened isolation’ mean?
Effective June 17, the requirement for self-isolation in PEI is expected to be shortened. The shortened isolation will be 8 days with a test on day 8 prior to exiting isolation. You must receive your negative test result before you are released from isolation. PEI is reducing the self-isolation period given 80% of eligible PEI residents will have at least one dose of vaccine by the end of June. With increased vaccination levels and decreased levels of infection, the risk of disease transmission is reduced.
If I am in isolation on June 17, 2021, following travel within Canada, am I eligible for shortened isolation?
For individuals with isolation in progress when the shortened isolation comes into effect (June 17, 2021), you are eligible for the shortened isolation of 8 days, subject to a negative day 8 test.
The shortened isolation is only for individuals in isolation related to travel in Canada. Isolation related to being a positive case or close contact of a positive case remains 14 days.
If I am vaccinated and in isolation on June 27, 2021, when Step 2 measures come into place, and am a permanent resident of PEI or another Atlantic province am I eligible for isolation exemption or shortened isolation?
For individuals with isolation in progress when the Step 2 measures come into effect (proposed date of June 27):
- if you are a permanent resident of PEI or the Atlantic provinces, have not been outside of the Atlantic provinces in the past 14 days, and have received at least one dose of an approved Canadian vaccine + 21 days, you are eligible for the self-isolation exemption, provided you have been tested in PEI and received a negative test during your isolation.
The isolation exemption is only for individuals in isolation related to travel in Canada. Isolation related to being a positive case or close contact of a positive case remains 14 days.
For Step 2 travel within the Atlantic provinces or the Magdalen Islands, what if minors aged 12 to 15 have not yet reached 21 days from their first dose of a two dose vaccine - are they not eligible for the self-isolation exemption?
Recognizing the approval for youth aged 12-15 yrs to be eligible for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was a recent change, the 21 day requirement to be eligible for the self-isolation exemption after their first dose is waived until July 31, 2021. All other conditions of the self-isolation exemption must be met, including not having been outside of the Atlantic provinces or the Magdalen Islands in the past 14 days, etc.
For Step 4 travel outside of the Atlantic provinces (within Canada), will minors aged 12 to 15 be required to isolate if they are partially vaccinated?
When travelling with their families who are fully vaccinated, it is anticipated that partially vaccinated minors age 12-15 will be eligible for a modified self-isolation, provided they follow testing requirements and other measures as required. Under modified self-isolation, minors age 12-15 must limit interactions with those outside of their family and avoid locations where physical distancing with other members of the public is not possible. For minors aged 12-15 yrs travelling with unvaccinated individuals, they will be required to self-isolate. There will also be the option of shortened self-isolation with testing on Day 8. More detail will be available before July 28th.
Will we be able to host our wedding this summer?
Yes, weddings can be held this summer. Effective June 6, weddings can be held with up to 150 people, in cohorts of 50, hosted by a recognized business or organization. Weddings may be held on personal property.
Individuals who are not a recognized business or organization can host up to 50 people for special occasion events (for example, back-yard weddings, baby showers, retirement gatherings, etc.) with an operational plan that has been submitted to and reviewed by the Chief Public Health Office.
Public health measures must be in place.
Why are we not reopening to all of Canada in early July?
Throughout the pandemic, the Atlantic Provinces have had similar approaches to border measures and typically lower case COVID-19 case counts than other regions of the country. PEI residents have many connections within the Atlantic provinces, and there are many well-established personal and economic travel patterns within the region that warrant earlier easing of travel restrictions versus the rest of Canada.
The plan allows time to immunize as many Island residents as possible. When at least 50% of Islanders have received two vaccine doses, and the local, regional and national epidemiology permits, we will ease measures for domestic travel based on vaccination status, until at least 80% of eligible Island residents are fully vaccinated.
How does this plan benefit Island residents?
Moving Forward signals hope and optimism for our province. Islanders will see more off Island family and friends and will be able to host larger personal and organized gatherings, while following basic public health measures. PEI residents can also look forward to travel without isolation, as isolation requirements for vaccinated individuals will be reduced. Summer 2021 will likely result in more travelers coming to PEI than in 2020; however, the numbers will still be considerably less than in 2019.
Specific examples of what Island residents will be able to enjoy:
- Effective June 6, the limit for personal gatherings will be increased to 20;
- Eating establishments and licensed facilities will not have to close early;
- More people will be able to attend weddings and funerals;
- Vaccinated or partially vaccinated Island residents will not have to self-isolate after travel within Atlantic Canada after June 27;
- Effective July 28, fully vaccinated Island residents returning from domestic travel outside the Atlantic Provinces will not have to self-isolate when they return home; and
- The cohort sizes for organized gatherings and sport and recreational activities will increase (July 18).
What if we do not reach vaccine targets?
PEI has historically had high uptake of vaccines and our goal is to achieve 80% coverage of eligible PEI residents. The Chief Public Health Office will continue to promote vaccination to PEI residents, and if necessary will review and adjust the measures in the Moving Forward plan if vaccine rates are below recommended targets.
How do I get a copy of my vaccination record?
More information on requesting your vaccination record is available here.
I am unable to be vaccinated or not interested in being vaccinated at this time. Can I be tested instead of isolating following entry to PEI?
Until such time that we have herd protection of PEI residents (with 80% of the eligible PEI resident population vaccinated) and the threat of COVID-19 has decreased, anyone 12 years or age and older who is not vaccinated will have to isolate upon entry into PEI. The length of isolation will be shortened as of June 17 for those required to isolate. By September, it is projected that the levels of vaccination within the province will allow the easing of isolation measures for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status.
For travel within the Atlantic provinces and the Magdalen Islands, will children under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible for vaccination be required to isolate?
When isolation measures are eased for vaccinated individuals, for minors under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible for vaccines, when travelling with their families who are vaccinated with PEI Passes they will be eligible for a self-isolation exemption. For minors under the age of 12 travelling with unvaccinated individuals, they will be required to self-isolate.
What about children coming to PEI to attend a camp or day program?
Camp and day program attendees from outside of PEI must follow all travel restrictions, testing requirements, and self-isolation requirements in PEI. These requirements are subject to change over time. All out of province attendees of camps and day programs must receive a negative COVID-19 test prior to joining the camp or program. In some cases a youth age 16 and older may be tested upon entering the province. More information on testing, including testing clinic locations and hours, can be found at COVID-19 Testing in PEI.
For travel within the Atlantic provinces, what will individuals need to present as a vaccination record to not self-isolate upon return/entry to PEI?
At this time, individuals should anticipate that there will be a question on the self-declaration form regarding vaccination status and should have their vaccination record accessible, e.g. if asked at the point of entry. Further information regarding the processes that will be in place will be made available in advance of June 27th.
What vaccines will be accepted to be eligible for self-isolation exemptions in the Moving Forward plan?
To be eligible for self-isolation exemptions in the Moving Forward plan, all approved Canadian vaccines are accepted.
For travel within the Atlantic provinces, is there a timeframe we need to wait after our first dose or second dose in order to not have to isolate?
To be eligible for no self-isolation on entry to PEI following travel within the Atlantic Provinces in Step 2 (projected implementation date June 27), you should have:
- 1 dose of an approved Health Canada vaccine + 21 days; OR
- 2 doses of an approved Health Canada vaccine.
You also need a PEI Pass – apply here.
To be eligible for the self-isolation exemption in Step 4 (projected implementation date of August 8, 2021), for travel in Canada outside of the Atlantic provinces, you must be fully vaccinated (e.g. two doses of an approved vaccine).