Premier Dennis King and Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison have unveiled a new Moving Forward plan, a balanced and measured approach to relaxing COVID-19 public health measures.
“Over the past 15 months, our lives have been changed by the global pandemic. We have shifted, adapted and taken these new challenges head on, and now we are able to look ahead with hope and anticipation as we move forward,” said Premier King. “The continued efforts, compliance and vigilance of Islanders in keeping each other and our Island community safe got us here and I am so pleased to move ahead.”
There is a minimum of three weeks between each of the five steps of the Moving Forward plan. The timeline will be adjusted as needed to respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation and dates will be confirmed prior to entering a new step. Until PEI residents are fully vaccinated, public health and travel measures will remain in place.
“The Moving Forward plan balances safe reopening and the need to protect the health of Island residents. We will move through the various steps only if it is safe to do so, based on vaccine rates, disease transmission, outbreak risks and health care system and public health capacity. As we continue to follow public health guidance, watch for symptoms, get tested when necessary, and get vaccinated when it is our turn, we will make more and more progress towards our goal of having 80% of eligible Islanders fully vaccinated by September,” said Dr. Morrison. “Islanders have done a fantastic job as we have cautiously navigated our way through the pandemic and the light at the end of the tunnel is now closer than ever before.”
Moving Forward Step 1, projected for June 6, 2021:
· Personal gatherings will increase to up to 20 people indoors and outdoors.
· Weddings and funerals will be permitted with a maximum of 150 people, in cohorts of 50, hosted by a recognized business or organization.
· Special occasion events (ex: backyard weddings, anniversary parties) hosted by individuals are permitted with up to 50 people with a reviewed operational plan.
· Restaurants may havea table size of up to 20; no restricted closing time for in-person consumption of food and beverage.
Moving Forward Step 2, projected for June 27, 2021 (dependent on first dose of vaccine received by 80 per cent of PEI residents age 12 and older, and second dose received by 80 per cent of vulnerable populations):
· Travel within Atlantic Canada is permitted to PEI for permanent residents of Atlantic Canada with no travel streams or pre-travel approval; no isolation for fully or partially vaccinated travelers with testing; shortened isolation and testing for unvaccinated travelers. Fully or partially vaccinated PEI residents who travel within Atlantic Canada will not have to self-isolate when they return home, with testing.
· Domestic travel outside Atlantic Canada is permitted under travel streams with pre-travel approval; shortened isolation and testing for all travelers.
Moving Forward Step 3, projected for July 18, 2021:
· Non-medical mask requirements will ease.
· Organized gatherings hosted by a business or organization are permitted with cohorts of up to 200 people outdoors or 100 people indoors.
· Multiple gatherings hosted by a business or organization are permitted with an approved operational plan.
· Weddings and funerals may host up to 200 people (following cohort limits).
· Sport and Recreation activities that require close contact (ex: sports, performance, etc.) are limited to a single cohort of 100 per day.
Moving Forward Step 4, projected for August 8, 2021 (dependent on second of two doses of vaccine received by 50 per cent of eligible PEI residents age 12 years and older):
· Domestic travel outside Atlantic Canada is permitted with pre-travel approval under existing travel streams; no isolation for fully vaccinated travelers; shortened isolation and testing for partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travelers. Island residents who are fully vaccinated can travel within Canada and not have to self-isolate when they return home, with testing.
Moving Forward Step 5, projected for September 12, 2021 (dependent on second dose of vaccine received by 80 per cent of eligible PEI residents age 12 years and older):
· Physical distancing measures eased.
· Non-medical mask requirements further eased.
· Personal gathering no limits.
· Organized gathering no limits.
· Business and organization no restrictions.
· Full-time classroom learning in K-12, with the possibility of targeted cohorting based on vaccination.
· Full-time classroom learning in post-secondary, possibly based on vaccination, with online learning options.
· Long term care will have unrestricted visitation if vaccination threshold is maintained.
· Continue to consider travel risks carefully.
· Domestic travel within Canada no pre-travel approval required.
· Some isolation and testing measures recommended for unvaccinated and partially-vaccinated travelers.
· International travel dependent on federal measures.
· Testing at points of entry and border screening eliminated.
The Moving Forward plan is now available online.
As always, 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.
Prince Edward Island currently has 10 active cases of COVID-19 and has had 200 positive cases since the onset of the pandemic. Information about the province’s COVID-19 cases is available online.
Islanders are encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and every Island resident 12 and older who wants to be immunized will have an opportunity to receive the vaccine in 2021. Information on PEI’s COVID-19 vaccine roll out and appointment booking information is available online.
For the latest information about Prince Edward Island’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit: www.princeedwardisland.ca/COVID19.
Source: Release #notw