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P.E.I. to begin approval process for seasonal residents on June 1
HALIFAX -- Seasonal residents of Prince Edward Island will be able to apply to travel to the island beginning June 1.
Canadian seasonal residents will need to complete an application process before arriving to the island. That process will begin on June 1, and includes submitting relevant travel and property ownership documentation and self-isolation plans prior to travelling to the province.
“This allows us to be open to our seasonal island residents, which is the very nature of who we are as Islanders. But we also have to protect and monitor the risk, which is why this process will be closely monitored to protect the well-being of all Islanders,” said P.E.I. Premier Dennis King during Wednesday’s news conference.
Seasonal residents will be required to present confirmation of approval at the Confederation Bridge, or airport upon arriving to P.E.I., and will not be allowed to enter the province without confirmation.
Every seasonal resident will need to self-isolate for 14 days upon arriving to the island and will be contacted by P.E.I.'s 'operation isolation team' throughout their 14-day self-isolation.
Also included in the application process is an online submission form including names of the travellers, permanent address and seasonal address in P.E.I., detailed self-isolation plan, agreement to terms and conditions outlined within the public health order, and agreement to participate in operation isolation, which means continued screening and phone calls during their 14 days in self-isolation.
King says about 2,300 Canadians are considered seasonal residents of P.E.I. and will be eligible to apply to travel to the island. There are approximately 1,200 more international seasonal residents who will not be able to apply at this time.
22 days with no new cases
Prince Edward Island reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. All 27 of the province's confirmed cases have recovered from the virus.
This marks P.E.I.'s 22nd consecutive day with no new cases, with the last positive case reported on April 28.
The island has received 580 new negative COVID-19 tests since Friday, and has tested nearly 5,200 people in total.
All confirmed cases of COVID-19 in P.E.I. were connected to travel.
Phase two to begin Friday
Phase two of P.E.I.'s 'Renew P.E.I. together' reopening plan will begin on May 22.
Phase two includes the opening of retail businesses and select indoor services, including hairdressers, barbers, pet grooming, retail outlets, greenhouses and nurseries, extermination and pest control, car washes, battle depots, cleaning and restoration services.
Phase two will also see non-contact indoor recreational activities and additional non-urgent health-care services, including registered massage therapists, acupuncturists, acupressurists and emergency dental care services.
P.E.I. announced their reopening plan, titled "Renew P.E.I. together" on April 28, with phase one beginning on May 1.
Last week, P.E.I. officials announced they were planning to move the start of phase three, which allows additional businesses to reopen, including restaurants, child-care centres, and campgrounds, to June 1, providing there is not broad community transmission detected in the coming weeks.
“The fact that we have come to this point and not seen the evidence of community transmission despite fairly broad testing, makes us more comfortable to consider moving that phase closer to June 1,” said Morrison. “It is about having us go a little bit faster to allow to movement, and return back to some of our activities carefully while maintaining restrictions at the bridge.”
Businesses able to reopen in phase three include restaurants and patios, child-care centres and day camps, gyms and fitness centres, nail salons and spas, tattoo and piercing studios, restaurants, campgrounds, hospitality homes, inns and bed and breakfasts.
“Businesses, services and organizations will have to have an operation plan in place. They will need to ensure physical distancing and screening, cleaning and hand-washing processes are in place,” said Morrison.
Phase three also allows gatherings of no more than 15 people indoors and 20 people outdoors, including religious gatherings, and organized recreation activities including outdoor sports, day camps, swimming pools, hot tubs and outdoor spaces, bowling alleys, gym and fitness facilities, yoga and pilates studios, arenas and wellness centres, art galleries, libraries, youth and community centres.
Encouraging local tourism
Premier Dennis King says the province has a new 'staycation' campaign in the works to promote local tourism for island residents.
"Our team and tourism has been working hard over the last few weeks in preparing a staycation campaign that will be launched June 1," said King. "1.6 million people usually visit, and will do anything to come here and this is an opportunity for us to explore our province, to create memories that will last a lifetime and help support our friends and neighbors and fellow Islanders."
P.E.I.'s next scheduled update is Friday, May 22.