P.E.I. to remain closed to non-residents as COVID-19 restrictions eased

Prince Edward Island will remain closed to non-residents for the foreseeable future as part of its newly released plans to begin easing COVID-19 restrictions.

That is aimed at protecting residents, but it also blocks one of the Island’s biggest industries.

P.E.I. Premier Dennis King has announced a four-phase plan that will see the province begin lifting some pandemic restrictions, starting with limited allowances and building up to restaurants and other businesses reopening in mid-June.

King says he believes the fact that P.E.I. is an island province with only three entry points has helped to keep the virus contained to only 27 positive cases, no deaths and no community spread of the disease to date.

But keeping the province’s boundaries closed to protect Islanders’ health means keeping out the 1.5 million tourists that visit every year – a measure that King says will have major impacts on many businesses and workers and the provincial economy as a whole.

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P.E.I. is among several provinces that have announced reopening plans over the last few days even as the pandemic continues to spread within Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2020.

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