Operational Plan Template FAQ's

Who needs an operational plan?

As per the COVID-19 Prevention and Self-Isolation Order, developing and following an operational plan detailing how risk of transmission of COVID-19 will be mitigated is required for:

  • All owners and operators of businesses, services and organizations, and
  • All organizers of gatherings of more than 20 people indoor or outdoor (organized gatherings)

What does my operational plan need to include?

As per the COVID-19 Prevention and Self-Isolation Order:

Owners and operators of businesses, services and organizations that are permitted to operate under this Order, shall take the following preventative measures:

  1. take every reasonable step to ensure minimal interaction of people (including employees and/or clients) within two metres of each other;
  2. take every reasonable step necessary to prevent employees who are required to self-isolate, as provided above, from entering workplaces;
  3. develop and follow an exclusion policy that ensures symptomatic employees are immediately excluded from work activities;
  4. develop and follow an operational plan detailing how risk of transmission of COVID-19 will be mitigated;
  5. ensure enhanced cleaning and disinfection of shared areas and surfaces;
  6. ensure hand washing stations are available;
  7. follow any direction issued to a specific class of businesses, services or organizations, as referenced in Appendix A, as may be amended from time to time; and
  8. follow any other direction issued to the business, service or organization by the Chief Public Health Officer.
Additional guidance has been provided to many sectors; and are available online.

Also, many industry/professional associations have developed guidance as well.

If specific guidance is not available for your sector, please see guidance for other sectors with similar elements.

Please note this is a basic template and will likely need to be modified in order to address sector specific guidance.

Does my operational plan need to follow the template?

Operational plans are not required to follow the template provided, however if your plan requires pre approval, we strongly advise that you utilize the template in order to facilitate both your development of the plan and also the Chief Public Health Office (CPHO) review of the plan.

Do I need to submit my operational plan to the Chief Public Health Office for approval?

  • You need to submit an operational plan to the Chief Public Health Office if you are organizing a gathering with more than one group of 50 people.  Plans can be submitted to envhealth@ihis.org, and must be pre-approved before hosting your gathering.
  • Gatherings of more than 50 people must be split into groups of no more than 50 people per group.  Each group must be kept separate from the others during the gathering, or throughout a 24-hour period if a gathering extends over a day or more (a tournament, for example).
  • Plans that involve large numbers of members of the public coming together such as for large events, including drive-ins, craft fairs, and amusement parks also should be submitted for feedback.
  • If you are representing a facility that is renting out spaces for gatherings and/or hosting gatherings, where the total number of people gathering would be greater than 50 at one time within the facility, the facility’s operational plan must be submitted for pre approval.
  • Organized gatherings of up to 50 people are permitted with an operational plan, but your operational plan for a gathering with one group of 50 people does not need to be submitted to the Chief Public Health Office.  It would need to be made available in the instance of an inspection.
  • If you are planning an organized gathering, please review the Gatherings Guidance, and the Multiple Gatherings Guidance.
Please note: For operational plans that require approval,  it can take up to 10 business days for a response. Please plan accordingly.
Operational plans for gatherings involving more than 150 people should be submitted a minimum of 15 business days before the start date/event date.

If I am approved for multiple gatherings, does that mean the rest of my operational plan is good to go?

No, approvals provided are specific to multiple gatherings as outlined in the COVID-19 Prevention and Self-Isolation Order, and are not a general approval of a plan as whole.

It is the responsibility of the organizer of any organized gathering to ensure that appropriate health and safety protocols are in place and followed.  

Further, a prior approval does not limit the operation of the COVID-19 Prevention and Self-Isolation Order, as may be amended from time to time, the Public Health Act or its regulations, or restrict the ability of the Chief Public Health Officer to issue public health orders or other orders, as necessary.

Can I have my operational plan approved by the Chief Public Health Office, even if it isn’t a multiple gathering scenario?

No, the only approvals provided are specific to multiple gatherings as outlined in the COVID-19 Prevention and Self-Isolation Order. If you have specific questions about your operational plan, you may reach out to envhealth@ihis.org

I previously was approved for two groups of 50. I would now like to operate with more groups of 50 people in my facility or at future events. Do I need to apply again for approval?

If you make substantive changes to how your organized gathering's space or numbers are managed, including adding additional multiples of 50, further approval by CPHO is required.

If I am organizing or hosting several similar events with over 50 people, do I need to submit my operational plan each time, or just once?

If you are planning multiple similar events, one operational plan may be submitted for this type of event. If there may be small variations in how multiple gatherings may be managed among slightly different events, different scenarios may be included in that one plan that is submitted for approval.

If I run a facility that would host different groups at one time, where there would be more than 50 people in the facility, and different ways to manage multiple gatherings would be needed at different times of day or certain seasons, how do I address that in my operational plan?

If there would be variations in how multiple gatherings may be managed at different times, different scenarios may be included in that the facility plan that is submitted for approval.

If my organization is renting space in a building to host multiple gatherings, with over 50 people in total, is it my organization or the facility that needs to submit an operational plan for pre approval?

Each business, service, organization and organizer is responsible for having an operational plan that covers their activities.

As outlined above, if a facility is renting out spaces to different groups in their facility, where the total number of people gathering would be greater than 50 at one time, the facility would need to submit an operational plan for their facility for pre approval.

In cases where both a facility and an organization have responsibility for a multiple gatherings situation, either:

  • both plans should be submitted to ensure all of the multiple gatherings guidance is in place (each plan can refer to the other for pertinent sections) or
  • a combined plan can be submitted on behalf of the facility and organizer.

I am hosting an event with no more than 50 people at one time, but there will be multiple groups of 50; do I need to apply for pre approval?

Yes, if you are organizing an event where there would be multiple gatherings over the span of an event on any one day, with more than 50 people in total, your plan would need to follow the multiple gatherings guidance to keep groups of up to 50 separate and pre approval would be required.

I run a facility. What do we need to know about renting out our facility?

As per COVID-19 Prevention and Self-Isolation Order:

  • owners and operators shall develop and follow an operational plan detailing how risk of transmission of COVID-19 will be mitigated
  • an approval of your operational plan may be required as outlined above
  • further, the operator of a business or facility must not knowingly rent, reserve or allow the business or facility to be used for an organized gathering that would contravene the Organized Gatherings section of the Order
  • businesses, services, organizations and organizers renting facilities would also require an operational plan

Questions about legal responsibilities, liability and due diligence should be directed to your organization’s legal counsel. The Government of PEI cannot provide legal advice.

I am working on my operational plan, I have reviewed guidance relevant to my sector and I still have questions. Who do I talk to?

If you seek further guidance from the CPHO, please follow the operational plan template, address each element of the relevant guidance, and clearly identify your questions. Those may be submitted to envhealth@ihis.org.

Please note these FAQs may not address every situation. If your situation does not appear to fit the above, please contact envhealth@ihis.org for more information.

Published date: 
October 20, 2020
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