New provincial measures to protect Islanders
The Province of Prince Edward Island will enforce stronger measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of Islanders.
Earlier today, Cabinet empowered the Chief Public Health Officer to issue orders under the Public Health Act as needed, including fines to anyone who is not complying with the direction to self-isolate. The measures put in place today are not unlike measures that have been put in place in other Canadian jurisdictions in recent days.
“These decisions aren’t made lightly and should signal to Islanders the seriousness of what’s before us with COVID-19. It is our collective responsibility to do our part, whether that is self-isolating, practicing social distancing or offering a helping hand to those in need. We are at a crucial point in the COVID-19 situation and the decisions we make now will help us in the long run.”
- Premier Dennis King
The penalties outlined today for Islanders who do not comply include:
- A fine of $1,000 for a first offence;
- A fine of $2,000 for a second offence; or,
- A fine of $10,000 for a third offence and every offence thereafter.
“Dr. Morrison has been giving Islanders expert advice daily on what we must do to contain the spread of COVID-19,” said Justice and Public Safety Minister Bloyce Thompson. "It is important that we do what we can with the resources available to us to support her efforts to keep Islanders safe. The time to act is now and our individual actions will have a direct impact on how successful we are in protecting the health and safety of everyone.”
Islanders returning to Prince Edward Island from domestic or international travel must self-isolate for 14 days. Exceptions are being made for essential workers, including truck drivers, airline crews, essential public and private sector workers in critical sectors, as well as on compassionate grounds.
New screening measures have been put in place at all entry points into the province – Confederation Bridge, Charlottetown Airport and Magdalen Ferry Terminal.
“This is a significant adjustment for all of us and while people are understandably anxious about these changes, they are necessary changes to protect our community,” said Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison. “We don’t want to have to use these measures, but we will if we need to. Islanders need to go home and stay home. Anyone putting their families, their neighbours, and Islanders at risk will face the potential consequences.”
Islanders with concerns about people they know not following the self-isolation directive can contact the toll-free COVID-19 information line at 1-800-958-6400.
For more information on self-isolation, www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/health-and-wellness/covid-19-self-isolation.
For more information about COVID-19, including resources and supports, visit: www.princeedwardisland.ca/COVID19.
Islanders experiencing symptoms (cough, fever, or shortness of breath) within 14 days of domestic or international travel should call 8-1-1 to be screened and, if necessary, directed for testing.
Islanders with health-related questions regarding COVID-19 should call PEI’s toll-free information line at 1-800-958-6400. The information line is taking messages 24-hours a day, 7 days a week and Islanders who leave messages will receive a call back from the Chief Public Health Office.
Those requiring immediate medical attention should call 9-1-1.
Everyone is encouraged to follow routine prevention measures:
- Washing hands frequently with soap and water
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue
- If ill with acute respiratory symptoms, stay home if possible
- Limit touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Don’t share items like drinking glasses and water bottles
- Frequently clean surfaces like taps, doorknobs and countertops
Executive Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Office of the Premier