P.E.I. will further ease its COVID-19 pandemic restrictions starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said in a written release late Friday afternoon.
“Prince Edward Island’s participation in the Atlantic bubble continues to be suspended until mid-February as the COVID-19 situation within the region continues to be regularly assessed,” the statement notes.
Saturday’s easing of restrictions means:
- An additional cohort of 50 will be allowed to attend organized gatherings such as concerts, worship and theatrical shows, to a maximum of 200.
- A return to full capacity for retail stores, markets and craft fairs as long as physical distancing can be maintained (only 50% capacity was being allowed in recent weeks).
- a return to capacity for fitness facilities/gyms, museums and libraries, again as long as physical distancing can be maintained.
- For fitness centres, a distance of three metres must be maintained during high-intensity activities such as hot yoga, boot camps, spin and high intensity interval training.
- Restaurants and bars may stay open for on-premises consumption of food and beverages until midnight, rather than having to shut at 11 p.m.
Personal indoor gathering limits remain at a household plus 10 other people, with those 10 remaining as consistent as possible.
P.E.I. is currently in a post-circuit-breaker phase of restrictions. On Dec. 6, the province introduced circuit-breaker measures to interrupt an outbreak of cases. Sports came to a halt, gyms and dining areas were closed, and gatherings of more than 10 people were forbidden.
Restrictions were eased somewhat Jan. 5.
There are currently seven active cases of COVID-19 on P.E.I. with a total of 110 positive cases since the pandemic began last March.
The other Maritime provinces are experiencing a wave of new cases, with New Brunswick the hardest hit.
On Friday, that province reported 30 new cases and placed the Edmundston region into a full lockdown as of Saturday at midnight, due to a series of outbreaks in the area.
Nova Scotia confirmed only four new cases Friday, but officials said two cases diagnosed in December have been determined to involve the U.K. and South Africa variants of COVID-19.
Reminder about symptoms
The symptoms of COVID-19 can include:
- Cough or worsening of a previous cough.
- Possible loss of taste and/or smell.
- Sore throat.
- New or worsening fatigue.
- Shortness of breath.
- Runny nose.