A look at how Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I. plan to emerge from COVID-19 shutdown

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball joins Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald in a COVID-19 update on March 18, 2020.
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball joins Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald in a COVID-19 update on March 18, 2020. Facebook: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

Starting Monday (June 8) , groups of up to 20 people will be permitted in Newfoundland and Labrador, as long as they observe physical distancing.

Up to 19 people will be allowed on public transit, and retail stores can reopen with restrictions.

Travel within the province will also be permitted, including to second homes, campgrounds and parks.

And 11 government service centres will reopen to offer in-person services that can be booked by appointment, including written tests, driver exams and identification photos.

As of Saturday evening, the province had two active cases out of 261 total, three of whom have died.

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Newfoundland and Labrador announced on May 29 that “bubbles” that had been limited to two households could invite six additional people into their circle.

Small gatherings for funerals, burials and weddings had already been allowed with a limit of 10 people following physical distancing rules. However, parties or other social gatherings are still banned.

Outdoor games of tennis have been allowed to resume, though players must bring their own equipment, and not share it.

Pet grooming services began operating May 25, with companies ordered to ensure their employees have personal protective equipment.

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Municipal parks, golf courses and driving ranges can open and recreational hunting and fishing are permitted.

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The province is in “alert level four” in its five-level reopening plan, allowing some businesses such as law firms and other professional services to reopen along with regulated child-care centres, with some restrictions.

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At Level 3, private health clinics, such as optometrists and dentists, will be allowed to open, as well as medium-risk businesses such as clothing stores and hair salons. Overnight camping will also be permitted at level three, though there’s no word yet when that will happen.

At Level 2, some small gatherings will be allowed, and businesses with performance spaces and gyms are to reopen. Level 1 would represent “the new normal.”

The province is also taking aim at reducing red tape. The plan is to shrink the regulatory burden for businesses at a time when they’re already struggling to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

To that end, the government is looking for ideas. It has set up an online portal for suggestions, which will be open to all businesses, community organizations and not-for-profit groups.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island has extended its public health emergency until June 14. All 27 of its COVID-19 cases have been resolved for some time.

Premier Dennis King says people wanting to travel to seasonal residences must apply beginning June 1, and those will be put through a risk assessment before approval. Seasonal residents will also be tested for COVID-19 before completing the two weeks they must spend in self-isolation after arriving in the province.

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The province moved into the third phase of its reopening plan June 1, which allows such things as in-house dining at restaurants, small groups to participate in recreational and some sporting activities and libraries to reopen. Phase three also allows gatherings of up to 15 people indoors and 20 people outdoors and the reopening of child-care centres.

As well, family and friends can visit residents at long-term care homes. The visits require an appointment and must take place outdoors.

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Under phase 2, non-contact outdoor recreational activities were permitted, and retail businesses could reopen with physical distancing measures in place.

Priority non-urgent surgeries and select health-service providers, including physiotherapists, optometrists and chiropractors, resumed on May 1.

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The P.E.I legislature resumed May 26.

Atlantic Canada boating

The Canada Border Services Agency in Atlantic Canada is reminding boaters that crossing the Canada-U-S border for recreation is still prohibited and could result in a hefty fine.

Border measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 remain in place.

Boaters are permitted to navigate across international waters if needed, but are not allowed to enter Canadian territorial or boundary waters for non-essential reasons, including entry for touring, sightseeing and pleasure fishing.

Failure to comply with the current border entry restrictions is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to a maximum six-month jail sentence and/or 750-thousand dollars in fines.

– With a file by Global News staff

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