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P.E.I.'s new public health measures come into effect Friday

·2 min read
Mandatory masks are back at indoor public places, personal gathering limits will be lowered and the province is moving ahead with the vaccine passport system.   (Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit)
Mandatory masks are back at indoor public places, personal gathering limits will be lowered and the province is moving ahead with the vaccine passport system. (Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit)

The recent outbreak of COVID-19 in P.E.I. has prompted the provincial government to implement new restrictions starting Friday.

Mandatory masks are back at indoor public places, personal gathering limits will be lowered and the province is moving ahead with the vaccine passport system.

Last week, the Fandango Choir had its first rehearsal in months.

The Fandango Choir/Submitted
The Fandango Choir/Submitted

But now, with outbreak concerns and indoor masking rules coming back, choir director Shirley Anne Cameron has decided to put rehearsals on hold.

"It's a crazy world we're in right now. We have challenging times, and we have to do what's best for everyone," Cameron said.

Cornwall masks up outdoors

The Town of Cornwall is taking the mask rule a step further. Masks are mandatory not just indoors but outside too, at all recreation facilities — like ball fields.

Steve Bruce/CBC
Steve Bruce/CBC

Players and coaches can only take them off when they're playing. Organizers hope this will provide an added layer of protection to the 13-and-under Baseball Atlantic Championships scheduled to happen this weekend.

The town's manager of parks and recreation, Kim Meunier, said the decision was made to protect those who are unable to get vaccinated.

Steve Bruce/CBC
Steve Bruce/CBC

"Our concern is the unvaccinated age group. So we just want to make sure we're doing the best we can to try to protect and keep our users and the players and families safe."

Another reason for the rule is that at some recreational facilities, like baseball diamonds, physical distancing is not always possible, she said.

"It does become very challenging with social distancing, trying to get people to social distance. So we figured the best policy would be to ensure they're masked."

'There's 100 questions I have'

The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce supports bringing back mandatory masking indoors. CEO Robert Godfrey said businesses are used to it.

Steve Bruce/CBC
Steve Bruce/CBC

"People are certainly looking at this, and taking the mantra they've had all along: 'How do we keep our businesses open and people safe at the same time?'" Godfrey said.

Yesterday, the premier said the government hopes to bring in a vaccine passport sometime in October.

The chamber said it's concerned about the idea that Islanders may have to present the passport to get into some types of businesses.

"I think it's the logistics. It's 'How do you provide proof of a vaccine? Is it on your phone? Is it a piece of paper? Is it verified? Not verified? How is it asked for?'

"There's 100 questions I have, just in terms of how we manage this in a practical manner that allows businesses to function in a normal way, so you're not standing in line for 20 minutes just to get a seat in a restaurant, or something as simple as that," Godfrey said.

He's asked for a meeting with the government to discuss these issues before the province rolls out a vaccine passport.

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