Phase #1 Guidance

Over the next two months Islanders will experience a gradual relaxation in the public health restrictions that have been in place to mitigate the impact of global COVID-19 pandemic in Prince Edward Island. As we progress through this four-phase process, it is critical to remember that this will not be a return to ‘business as usual’. Renew PEI Together describes a measured progression to a new normal, while remaining vigilant in the face of an ongoing pandemic.

For individuals and communities, it is our collective action that will contribute to the success of this plan. Guidance we have become familiar with – physical distancing, good hand hygiene, staying home when ill, enhanced cleaning and disinfection of commonly touched surfaces, and more – will remain in place. All services, businesses, and organizations will need to modify their operation in light of COVID-19 and will be required to create operational plans demonstrating how they will reduce risk. 

It is critical that all Islanders continue to adhere to these public health guidelines. The global COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, as does our response to it, and it is up to all of us to minimize the impact of COVID-19 and keep our communities safe. Together, we can safely renew PEI.

For Individuals

Guidance on indoor and outdoor personal gatherings and non-contact recreational activities

  • A household can gather indoors with up to five (5) additional individuals from different households.
  • A household can gather outdoors with up to ten (10) additional individuals from different households.
  • Maintaining physical distancing of two meters (six feet) is important during any gatherings with those from outside your household.
  • Outdoor gatherings are not restricted to your private property (a group may go for a walk together on the Confederation Trail, for example).
  • You may extend your household unit by one or two members who are important to supporting your household or who you feel may need closer contact and support (ex. hug, handshake, etc.).

Groups may participate in non-contact recreational activities, such as:

  • walking, hiking, running,
  • cycling and motorcycling,
  • golf courses, driving ranges, and shooting ranges,
  • recreational fishing, including inland and tidal water fisheries and all recreational shellfish.

Persons from different households must not share equipment for recreational purposes, including but not limited to soccer balls, basketballs, badminton birdies and tennis balls, hockey sticks, toys, and outdoor gym equipment.

If sharing food, do not serve buffet style and do not share utensils.

Marinas and yacht clubs are permitted to operate, provided people follow the public guidance including the 5-person gathering limit and physical distancing guidance.  Installation of docks and wharfs for the purpose of operating a marina is considered an outdoor construction project, and should follow guidelines as presented below for businesses, services and organizations.

Guidance on seasonal properties for PEI residents

  • Residents of Prince Edward Island may open and use their seasonal properties. This does not include campgrounds in this phase.
  • General guidance on outdoor gatherings and recreational activities still apply.
  • Non-residents of PEI are not currently permitted to access seasonal properties on PEI due to ongoing travel restrictions.

For Businesses, Services, and Organizations

Services already deemed essential are still permitted to directly serve the public.

Businesses, services, and organizations permitted to open in Phase 1 are those identified as lower risk, primarily outdoor-oriented with high potential to conduct contact tracing in cases of positive COVID-19 diagnoses. Several priority non-urgent health services and public services will also begin to operate in Phase #1.

If your business, service, or organization is not listed, but is similar to other phase one examples, contact the Environmental Health Office for clarification at

Organizations and businesses are not required to re-open at the initiation of the relevant phase and may choose to continue operating virtually or online. Services may continue serving the public by means of phone, virtual services, delivery or pick-up, provided the following preventative measures are taken by the employer, business operator, or manager.

General guidance for businesses, services, and organizations

Owners and operators of workplaces that are permitted to continue serving the public must ensure the following measures are in place:

  • take every reasonable step to ensure minimal interaction of people (including employees and/or clients) within two metres (six feet) of each other.
  • take every reasonable step required to prevent employees who are required to self-isolate as provided in section 3 from entering workplaces.
  • develop and follow an exclusion policy that ensures symptomatic employees are immediately excluded from work activities.
  • develop and follow an operational plan detailing how risk of transmission of disease will be mitigated.
  • ensure enhanced cleaning and disinfection of shared areas and surfaces.
  • ensure hand washing stations are available.

Additional guidance to support owners and operators to meet the Public Health Order requirements include:

  • Non-medical masks are recommended when physical distancing cannot be maintained.  Non-medical masks are not to be used as a replacement for physical distancing.
  • Entry into a business, including lines, should be regulated to prevent congestion.
  • Businesses should post external signs indicating COVID-19 physical distancing protocols, along with floor marking where service is provided or lines form.
  • Equipment, instruments, and tools that cannot be disinfected between clients should not be re-used.
  • Customers should be encouraged to use credit or debit cards for payment. Limit contact by allowing customers to scan/tap/swipe their own cards.
  • Employees who must handle cash or credit cards should practice proper hand hygiene. When hands are not visibly soiled and between customer interactions, alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be used.
  • Employees should wash their hands with soap and water when hands are visibly soiled, before and after any breaks, at the beginning and end of their shift, and before preparing food.
  • Limit the exchange of papers (e.g. signing contracts). If documents must be exchanged, leave them on a clean surface while maintaining a two-metre (six foot) distance. Avoid sharing pens and office equipment. Disinfect after each use.
  • Staff are to self-monitor for symptoms and report to their supervisor if they have concerns about possible COVID exposure or positive symptoms.
  • If a staff member develops symptoms of COVID-19 at work they should immediately perform hand hygiene, report to manager, avoid contact with staff and leave as soon as it is safe to do so. Please call 811 to arrange testing.
  • Symptomatic staff will be required to self-isolate until they are tested and the results are confirmed.
  • If the test results are negative for COVID-19 but the staff member remains ill/symptomatic, they should remain on sick leave.
  • If the test results are negative for COVID-19 and the staff member is no longer ill/symptomatic, they may return to work, unless the individual has been advised otherwise by public health, and provided there are no other reasons the individual is required to self-isolate (e.g. travel history, someone in the household is positive for COVID-19, or symptomatic and waiting for testing).
  • If the test results are positive for COVID-19 the employee follows the direction of Public Health and remains self-isolated for 14 days.

Developing operational plans

  • All businesses, services, and organizations operating during the COVID-19 pandemic are required to have an operational plan outlining how their business, service, and/or organization is prepared for COVID-19.
  • You do not need to submit your operational plan to the Chief Public Health Office before reopening. However, the plan will need to be made available during inspections by a government official.
  • If you are part of an association, we recommend reaching out to your association to seek sector specific information and guidance.
  • Plans are to be developed prior to providing services, or as soon as possible for businesses, services, and organizations already in operation.
  • For businesses and organizations without an association, and/or for questions that an association cannot assist with, send questions to

Inspection and Enforcement

  • The Environmental Health Office will conduct both random and complaint-based inspections anytime after May 1st.
  • Those not compliant with the above criteria are subject to an escalating approach of warnings, fine and closures, depending on the situation.


Published date: 
May 11, 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