Four-day isolation required for fully vaccinated travelers to PEI; changes to contact tracing; Santa cleared for travel to PEI; 29 new cases of COVID-19

Premier Dennis King has announced that a four-day isolation will now be required for fully vaccinated travelers with a PEI pass arriving in Prince Edward Island. 

Due to rising case counts, the rapid spread COVID-19 (notably the Omicron variant) in the province, and the need to protect Islanders and avoid overwhelming our health care system, new measures will be put in place tomorrow. 

Effective 8:00 am on Wednesday, December 22, travelers entering PEI who are fully vaccinated with a PEI pass will be required to isolate for four days. They will each be given two rapid tests and must receive a negative result on day two and day four or a day four negative PCR test from a Health PEI drop-in testing clinic. 

Those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated will continue to be required to isolate for eight days with a negative test on arrival and again on day 8. A self-isolation declaration form must also be submitted. 

In addition, food premises and licensed establishments will need to stop food and beverage service at approximately 11:00 p.m. and close by 12 midnight each night. 

Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison announced that PEI’s contact tracing process has been adjusted due to the increased number of cases and close contacts, as the ability to maintain the same level of personal outreach has been exceeded. 

Effective immediately, anyone identified as a contact of a positive case may receive an email from Health PEI or the Chief Public Health Office identifying they are a close contact or a casual contact with information about the testing and isolation requirements. All close contacts will be contacted by public health nursing either by phone or email. 

“We all feel discouraged and disheartened knowing we have an uncertain and bumpy road ahead. While we are all tired, this variant does not care if we are weary, it does not care if it is the holiday season, it does not care about our plans. We have many tools at our disposal to fight this wave of the pandemic, we know what measures work and importantly we have access to a safe, approved vaccine.”

- Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison

PEI is distributing a limited supply of rapid antigen screening tests in a targeted manner focusing on the following areas: 

  • Regular screening of frontline staff who are not fully vaccinated and work in high risk areas
  • Screening individuals who are travelling to PEI who cannot be tested at points of entry
  • Supporting children to return to in-class learning 
  • Enhancing access to testing in areas of province where there is limited access to PCR testing
  • Testing all staff in long-term care and community care, regardless of vaccine staff
  • Supporting testing protocols to allow continuation of essential services, if a large number of frontline workers are identified as close contacts 

PEI continues to work with the Government of Canada to secure additional home-based screening kits. 

Beginning today, rapid antigen screening tests will be given to people travelling to PEI to ensure they have access to mandatory testing over the Christmas holiday. 

Access PEI sites in rural PEI, where there is less access to PCR testing, have a supply of screening tests for distribution (Tignish, Alberton, O’Leary, Wellington, Montague and Souris).

A special news bulletin from the North Pole has been received by the Chief Public Health Office that advises Santa is fully vaccinated with his booster dose. Santa is feeling well and is following public health measures so he and his reindeer can safely visit all the children on Christmas Eve. 
Island residents and visitors are asked to not host or attend organized gatherings on New Year’s Eve or staff parties over the holidays, as these types of events present an opportunity for COVID-19 and its variants to spread rapidly. 

Dr. Morrison also announced 29 new cases of COVID-19 in Prince Edward Island.   

These 29 cases are still under investigation and contact tracing is underway. Anyone identified as a close contact will be contacted with instructions on testing and isolation requirements. 

There are 112 active cases of COVID-19 in PEI and there have been 529 cases since the pandemic began. 

There are new public exposure notifications related to the cases: 

  • Monday, December 13
    • Needs Convenience (152 Belvedere Avenue, Charlottetown) between 5:00 pm and 5:30 pm
  • Tuesday, December 14
    • Eastern Auto Supply (42 St. Peter’s Road, Charlottetown) between 10:00 am and 12:00 pm
  • Wednesday, December 15
    • Refrigeration Specialists Inc. (5800 Georgetown Road, Vernon River) between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm
    • Service Master Office (2 Grant Street, Charlottetown) between 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm
  • Thursday, December 16
    • Iron Haven Gym (474 Gallant Street, Summerside) between 7:30 am and 10:00 am 
    • Refrigeration Specialists Inc. (5800 Georgetown Road, Vernon River) between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm
    • Modo Yoga (4 Princess Crescent, Charlottetown) between 4:30 pm and 5:45 pm
    • Taco Boys (393 University Avenue, Charlottetown) between 7:20 pm and 8:20 pm
  • Friday, December 17
    • Iron Haven Gym (4474 Gallant Street, Summerside) between 7:00 am and 1:00 pm
    • Refrigeration Specialists Inc. (5800 Georgetown Road, Vernon River) between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm
    • Service Master Office (2 Grant Street, Charlottetown) between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm
    • Z&G Restaurant (98 Water Street, Summerside) between 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm
    • Holland College High Performance Centre (Charlottetown Centre, 140 Weymouth Street, Charlottetown) between 3:00 pm and 4:15 pm
    • Olde Dublin Pub (131 Sydney Street, Charlottetown) between 9:00 pm and 2:00 am 
    • Linkletter Welding Ltd (26 Linkletter Avenue, Central Bedeque) between 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm 
  • Saturday, December 18
    • Iron Haven Gym (474 Gallant Street, Summerside) between 9:30 am and 11:30 am
    • Subway (484 Granville Street, Summerside) between 4:00 pm and 4:20 pm
    • Sobeys (475 Granville Street, Summerside) between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm
    • PEI Liquor (475 Granville Street, Summerside) between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm
  • Sunday, December 19
    • Granville Street Diner (454 Granville Street, Summerside) between 2:45 pm and 3:30 pm

Anyone who was at these locations during these times who is not fully vaccinated should visit a drop-in testing clinic to be tested and monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the date of exposure. If any symptoms develop, individuals should be re-tested.

Anyone who was at these locations during these times who is fully vaccinated should monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the date of exposure and if any symptoms develop, they should visit a drop-in testing clinic.

There is also a new flight exposure notification:

  • Air Canada flight 8218 departing Montreal on Thursday, December 16 and arriving in Charlottetown on Friday, December 17

Anyone who travelled on this flight should monitor closely for symptoms of COVID-19 and if any symptoms develop, visit a drop-in testing clinic. 

The new cases today include four individuals who are not permanent residents but are in PEI, are isolating and are being managed by public health.

Going forward, permanent residents of other jurisdictions will be included in our daily number of new cases, but not included in the PEI  active case count or in the total number of cases. 

In the last week, there have been 115 new cases of COVID-19. Of these cases, 58 per cent are close contacts, 22 per cent were linked to travel within Canada, 15 per cent were linked to travel outside of Canada, and five per cent were acquired in the community. 

There have been 24 cases of COVID-19 in PEI that have been confirmed as the Omicron variant to date.

Many people are in self-isolation as close contacts, including 125 students from Morell Consolidated, Belfast Consolidated and Colonel Gray High Schools. 

The last case related to the outbreak at Westwood Primary School was reported on December 16.  This outbreak will be over 14 days after the date of the last confirmed case. 

As of Saturday, December 18, 95.2 per cent of Island residents age 12 years and over have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 92.1 per cent are fully vaccinated with two doses. 34.8 per cent of children age 5-11 years have received their first dose. Almost 13,000 people have received their third dose or booster of COVID-19 vaccine. 

As always, all Islanders are urged to get tested if they experience any symptoms of COVID-19, even after a previous negative test, and to self-isolate until the results come back. Islanders are also encouraged to download the free national COVID Alert app, which will let them know if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Anyone age 12 and over can receive their COVID-19 vaccination at one of the Health PEI clinics and those age 18 years or older can visit one of the 28 partner pharmacies across the province.  

For information on PEI’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, including vaccine facts, immunization data and booking an appointment, visit: COVID-19 Vaccines. For answers to commonly asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, visit: Answers to Common COVID-19 Vaccine Questions.

For the latest information about Prince Edward Island’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit: COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Prince Edward Island


The Chief Public Health Office continues to work closely with the federal government, provincial and territorial counterparts, government departments and Health PEI to monitor the pandemic situation and prepare for all COVID-19 related impacts to the province, including health, social and economic. The public health risk of COVID-19 is continually reassessed, and Islanders will be updated as new information becomes available.
Everyone is encouraged to follow routine prevention measures:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue
  • Get vaccinated
  • Wear a non-medical mask in indoor places
  • Stay home if you are not feeling well
  • Limit touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Keep your circle of contacts small
  • Physical distance - stay two meters (6 feet) apart
  • Don’t share items like drinking glasses and water bottles
  • Frequently clean surfaces like taps, doorknobs and countertops
  • Visit a drop-in-clinic to be tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms

Media Contact:
Samantha Hughes
Health and Wellness

General Inquiries

Department of Health and Wellness
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105 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

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