Charlottetown, PE – The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce is calling on the provincial government to develop and present a cohesive plan that will outline how, when and under what guidelines various groups and individuals will be permitted to enter Prince Edward Island during the COVID-19 recovery period.
The Chamber acknowledges the provincial government has released some details of how they intend to ease provincial border restrictions but would like to see all information presented at once, in a complete and detailed plan.
“What worked with the ‘Renew PEI, Together’ plan was that it laid out when and how we would ease restrictions within the province. Business owners could then look at what was in it and work with public health officials to adjust either the plan itself or their business operations to ensure a safe and successful reopening,” said Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce Interim CEO, Gerard Adams. “We see a plan for the easing of restrictions at our provincial borders as equally beneficial for our local business community, and Islanders as a whole.”
The Chamber suggests a ‘Point of Entry’ plan would include, but not be limited to the following components:
- Phases and pace of entry for non-residents including, but not limited to:
- Seasonal residents
- Inter-provincial visitors
- International visitors
- Non-essential workers
- Unique organizations or groups (e.g. Canadian Premier Soccer League)
- Individuals accepted to come to PEI through provincial and federal immigration programs
- Guidelines and criteria for those individuals entering the province as deemed appropriate by the provincial Chief Public Health Office
- Scenarios, both positive and negative that may cause the Chief Public Health Office to reconsider the plan’s pace.
The Chamber added business owners understand that if circumstances change, the plan might have to be altered – but suggest having a plan that is subject to change is better than having no plan at all.
“We are all aware that we are in uncharted territories and respect the reality that any plan put forward during this time is subject to change,” said Adams. “With that said, having a plan, developed with the best information and assumptions available at the time, offers our local business community an opportunity to prepare for a possible increase in customers, and make informed decisions about how and when they reopen.”
The Chamber added that because there has been no new cases of COVID-19 in PEI since April 28, 2020, there is a feeling of cautious optimism in the local business community. They stressed the importance of finding the appropriate balance between ensuring public health and safety and the health of our local businesses.