Travelling Workers and Isolation Requirements

Anyone who performs paid work in Prince Edward Island may be eligible to work isolate. Once approved to work isolate, you must respect the public health measures for work isolation.

Work isolation and testing

Who benefits from work isolation?

All of PEI benefits from work isolation. Work isolation supports workers in their return to work after traveling outside of the Atlantic Bubble.

Who must apply to the Chief Public Health Office (CPHO) to work isolate?

Prince Edward Island residents who travel outside of the Atlantic Bubble and wish to return to their workplace when they arrive back in the province must apply to work isolate.

How do I apply to work isolate?

If you are a PEI resident, your work duties take place outside of your residence, you need to travel outside of the Atlantic Provinces and you want to be able to go to work when you return to PEI, you can apply to work isolate:

  1. Before you travel, have a conversation with your employer to ensure they are comfortable with your travel and plan to return to work.
  2. Identify a support person who will be available to help you obtain necessities, like food and medication, when you return and are isolating.
  3. Before you leave the province and begin travel, apply to get approval to work isolate when you return.
  4. Call 1-855-354-4358 in advance to book a testing appointment for your return. Book all of your other testing appointments at the same time.  
  5. Take your approval letter or your submission ID with you when you leave the province and provide it to Public Health Officials and border screeners when you return to PEI.
  6. When you return, immediately go to your residence or location where you will isolate. You can leave your isolation to go to your scheduled testing appointment.
  7. You will begin to receive daily check in calls the day after you arrive back in the province.  These calls will continue for the 14 days you are required to self-isolate and work isolate.
  8. Check your test results on-line.  You will need your health card, date of birth, and the date you were tested to get your results.
  9. Once you receive your negative test result, you are able to work isolate for 14 days; you can return to work but you cannot attend public events or go to public places like grocery stores or drive-thru restaurants, you must go straight to work and home.
  10. When at your workplace, follow the public health requirements in place for work isolation. These include: physical distancing, wearing a non-medical mask or face covering, and frequently washing/sanitizing your hands. 
  11. Callers will let you know when your 14 days of work isolation is complete.
  12. Continue to follow public health measures in place to keep all Islanders healthy and safe.

Do I need to apply each time I travel outside of the Atlantic Bubble?

Yes, you must apply for approval to work isolate each time you travel outside of the Atlantic Bubble, if you wish to go back to your workplace when you return. If you do not have to return to your workplace then you do not have to apply. You would self-isolate for 14 days upon return to the province.

Do I need to apply if I already have confirmation of pre-travel approval to enter PEI as a non-resident worker?

If you have pre-approval as a non-resident worker from the PEI Office of Public Safety, you are exempt from this process and do not need to apply. You are automatically eligible for work isolation.

What if my employer won’t let me return to work after traveling?

If your employer will not permit you to return to the workplace after travel, then you must self-isolate for 14 days. You should have a conversation with your employer before you travel to obtain permission to work when you return.

What if a worker is symptomatic?

If you are symptomatic, you cannot work. Anyone experiencing symptoms should immediately self-isolate and arrange for testing by calling 811 to be assessed or go to a drop-in testing clinic.

Can I be tested to avoid isolation?

No, testing does not replace isolation and it cannot be used to get out of self-isolation. Testing is a way to identify an infected person close to the time they became infectious and can spread the virus to others.

What are the penalties if I do not follow work isolation or self-isolation requirements?
The penalties for not work isolating or self-isolating are charges that carry a fine of at least $1,000.

Giving false information to a public health official is also a fine of at least $1,000.

How do I lodge a complaint?

If someone is not following the requirements of self-isolation or work isolation, or any other public health measure in place in the province, you can make a complaint by calling: 1-800-958-6400.

International workers / Federal Quarantine Act

Are workers who travel internationally still required to self-isolate in PEI?
Yes, workers who travel internationally and come to Prince Edward Island, and are not exempt from the federal Quarantine Act, are required to self-isolate for 14 days. These workers require routine testing at day 0-2 and 10-12.

What about workers who are exempt under the federal Quarantine Act?

Workers who return to PEI from international travel and are exempt, as determined by the Government of Canada under the federal Quarantine Act, are eligible to work isolate for 14 days and must be tested on day 0-2, 4-7 and 10-12. Workers must receive a negative test prior to starting work.

If I am exempt from self-isolation under the federal Quarantine Act, why do I have to self-isolate in PEI?

The effects of COVID-19 vary between and within provinces and territories. Because of this, PEI has put measures in place that are stronger than federal regulations to help keep the province safe.

Who determines which International travelers are exempt from the federal Quarantine Act?

Decisions regarding exemptions under the federal Quarantine Act are granted by the Canadian Border Services Agency. Provinces and territories do not have the authority to determine federal exemptions.

How does someone confirm they are exempt from the federal Quarantine Act?

Contact the Public Health Agency of Canada prior to traveling to determine if you qualify for an exemption from the Mandatory Isolation Order:

The PEI Chief Public Health Office also receives notification from the federal government of arriving travelers who are required to isolate after entering Canada.

What types of workers are exempt from the federal Quarantine Act?

The federal government determines what types of workers are exempt from the federal Quarantine Act. However, when these workers arrive in PEI, they must work isolate or self-isolate and be tested at day 0-2, 4-7 and 10-12.

Does the federal government follow up with international travelers entering Canada?

Yes. Federal government officials check in with each international traveler who is required to self-isolate at some point during their 14 day isolation period.

Rotational workers

What is a rotational worker?

A rotational worker is a PEI resident who travels routinely outside of Atlantic Canada and is on a set schedule. You are considered a rotational worker if you spend at least 50% of your time working outside of the province and 21 days or less in the province when not at work.

Do rotational workers who travel within the Atlantic Bubble need to self-isolate and be tested regularly?
No, if your work schedule only requires travel within NS, NB and NFLD, you do not need to self-isolate or be tested when you return to PEI.

I am a rotational worker. Do I need to self-isolate when I return home?

No, you do not have to isolate away from your family; however you must be tested on days 0-2, 4-7 and 10-12 (or for as long as you remain in the province).

You must keep your circle of contacts small, avoid all gatherings, wear a non-medical mask or face covering when in public spaces, wash your hands frequently, and respect all public health measures in place.

I am a rotational worker. I travel outside of Atlantic bubble regularly based on my set schedule. Do I need to apply to the CPHO each time I travel?

No, you do not need to apply each time you travel but you must submit an initial Worker Travel application beginning October 2, 2020. On the Resident Worker Travel application, indicate that you are a rotational worker and outline your routine work and travel schedule. Once this is on file you will not have to apply again unless your schedule or work circumstance changes.

Self-employed and working from home

I am a self-employed, PEI resident. Do I still need to apply on line to work isolate?

Maybe. If you’ve traveled outside of the Atlantic Bubble and your work duties require you to leave your home/property, you must apply to work isolate.

I am a PEI resident who has just returned to the province. I do not work outside of my residence. Do I need to apply to the CPHO to work isolate?

No, if your work does not require you to leave your residence to perform work duties you do not have to apply to the CPHO to work isolate from home. You are required to self-isolate for 14 days.

I am returning to PEI after working out west for the last 6 months. I will be home for 3 months before leaving the province again. I will not be working while I am home but I really need to see my family. Can I be tested and exempted from self-isolation?

No, when you arrive in PEI you must self-isolate for 14 days. You do not need to be tested unless you develop symptoms. We understand your desire to be with your family right away but it is really important that you isolate away from them for 14 days. This will help to keep them healthy and safe if you become symptomatic. When you are finished of your self-isolation you will be able to have close physical contact again with your family.

Healthcare workers

Do healthcare workers, including workers who work in long-term care facilities, have to be tested after travel within the Atlantic bubble?

No, symptomatic, health care workers, long-term care facilities, do not have to isolate or be tested upon return to PEI from travel within the Atlantic bubble.  

Can healthcare workers, including long-term care (ltc) workers, who travel outside of the Atlantic Bubble, work isolate when they return to PEI?

Yes, as a healthcare worker, including work at a LTC facility, you can receive approval to work isolate. However, you must self-isolate upon entry to the province and test negative prior to starting work. You must also continue testing at days 4-7 and 10-12. Alternatively, they can self-isolate for 14 days with no testing.

Can health care workers who travel internationally work isolate when they enter PEI?

All health care workers who arrive in PEI from travel outside of Canada must self-isolate for 14 days, even if they are exempt under the federal Quarantine Act.

Why are isolation requirements different for individuals who work in health care?

The isolation for health care workers who travel internationally, including those who work in long-term care, are higher because they work with individuals who are vulnerable. Health care workers are not able to maintain 6 ft distance when at work due to the nature of the work they do. To date, the experience in Canada demonstrates that seniors living in care facilities and immune-compromised individuals are especially vulnerable to serious health impacts and death from COVID-19.

It is important that extra safeguards be in place to protect individuals receiving care in facilities and health care sites across the province.


Published date: 
October 1, 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