PEI suspends participation in Atlantic Bubble for two weeks
Premier Dennis King has announced that Prince Edward Island’s participation in the Atlantic Bubble will be suspended for two weeks effective Tuesday, November 24 at 12:01 a.m.
“As we continue to see a rise in COVID-19 cases across the country and within the Atlantic Provinces as a result of the second wave, we have made the decision to suspend non-essential travel within the bubble for the next two weeks to curb the spread of the pandemic. Prince Edward Island has done well in responding to the pandemic and our priority remains focused on protecting Islanders and the progress we have made. This temporary suspension of non-essential travel with in the region is a pre-emptive step to help us slow down the spread of the COVID-19 and maintain the movement and activities we now enjoy in our province.”
- Premier Dennis King
Islanders should only travel outside of PEI for essential purposes or work. Anyone who needs to travel to Prince Edward Island, including residents of Atlantic Canada, will have to apply for pre-travel approval in advance. Island residents do not require pre-travel approval to return to the province, but will be required to self-isolate or apply to work-isolate for 14 days upon their return.
“Over the past few days it has become apparent that our neighbors in Atlantic Canada, especially those in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, are experiencing the second wave of COVID-19. It is now more important than ever to remain vigilant in following public health measures,” said Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison. “While we recognize we cannot reduce the risk to zero, it is important that we take steps to protect Islanders from COVID-19 and our health system from being overwhelmed.”
Islanders who need to travel within Atlantic Canada for essential purposes, such as for medical appointments, transportation of goods, or picking up students from university are not required to self-isolate if they are able to return to Prince Edward Island that same day. While traveling outside of the province, Islanders must avoid stores, dine-in restaurants and visiting with family and friends.
Islanders who frequently travel within Atlantic Canada for work or Atlantic Canadians who frequently travel to Prince Edward Island to work, including rotational workers and truck drivers, will need to apply to work-isolate or register as a rotational worker. However, for the next seven days they will not be required to follow the testing regimen. This grace period will allow time for registration and to determine demand for additional testing requirements.
Individuals working in long-term care or community care who travel off-Island will not be eligible to work isolate. Out of an abundance of caution, partners in care who have returned from out-of-province travel in the last week must not visit their loved one in long-term care or community care until they have been in PEI for 14 days.
“It is important that anyone who is travelling for essential reasons closely follow the public health measures put in place,” said Premier King. “By working together, we can protect ourselves, our loved ones and our Island community from the importation of COVID-19.”
The two-week temporary suspension of the Atlantic Travel Bubble will be reviewed by the provinces and a further update will be provide in early December.
Dr. Morrison also confirmed one new case of COVID-19 in Prince Edward Island. The individual is a female in her 40s who recently travelled from outside the Atlantic Bubble. She is self-isolating and contact tracing is underway.
At this point, there is no evidence of community spread of COVID-19 in Prince Edward Island. Prince Edward Island has had a total of 69 positive cases of COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic. All cases to date have been travel-related. Information about the province’s COVID-19 cases is available online.
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:
- Washing hands frequently with soap and water
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue
- Stay home if you are not feeling well
- Limit touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Keep your circle of contacts small
- Wear a mask in closed, indoor public spaces
- Maintain a distance of two meters from others as much as possible
- Don’t share items like drinking glasses and water bottles
- Frequently clean surfaces like taps, doorknobs and countertops
Health and Wellness