Students From Outside Atlantic Bubble Start Arriving On P.E.I.

Prince Edward Island Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison sketch out initial plans for dealing with the arrival of international students from outside the Atlantic bubble Tuesday morning.

Dr. Heather Morrison was speaking at the regular, weekly pandemic briefing.

The P.E.I is expecting far fewer post-secondary students this year, Morrison said. In a normal year, there would be about 2,500, but only about 500 students are expected this fall.

“We know there is a risk of importation of the coronavirus into P.E.I.,” she said.

“Many of the international students are in the young adult age range (between 20 and 30), that often may not perceive that they are at risk of contacting the virus and may feel invincible. Besides, some students are coming from Countries with a high prevalence of COVID-19.”

Pre-travel approval

Post-secondary international students coming from other countries will be required to quarantine in designated hotels that will be monitored twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven days a week, said Morrison.

On day 10 to 12, the students will be tested for coronavirus.

All post-secondary students from outside the Atlantic bubble will require pre-travel approval to be welcomed into the province. Part of that approval process will be preparing a reliable and acceptable self-isolation plan.

Some of those Canadian students started arriving Tuesday, said, Morrison.

International students, and Canadian students who have remained in Canada, will be allowed to quarantine in their own accommodations, or they may choose to quarantine at a hotel.

“It is incumbent on the post-secondary institutions to provide the necessary support to students during the fourteen (14) days of self-isolation,” said Morrison.

The Chief Public Health Office is continuing to collaborate with post-secondary institutions to finalize plans for dealing with students arriving from outside the Atlantic bubble.

UPEI expects 150 international arrivals

UPEI spokesperson Nicole Phillips has told CANUSIM news that the Charlottetown university is expecting approximately 350 students to be arriving from outside the Atlantic bubble.

“Of that number, it would be estimated that 150 international students would be arriving from outside the country and will be self-isolating in a designated hotels, and that 200 others would be coming from outside the Atlantic Canada bubble,” she wrote in an email.

“The latter group of students may be self-isolating in residence if they are residence students, or might self-isolates in the designated hotels if they don’t have a place, or in a location of their own choosing, but must be approved by P.E.I.”

She added that a good number of the university’s more senior international students did not quit the Island in March, when COVID-19 pandemic hit, but chose to stay on P.E.I. throughout the summer.

Holland College says it is expecting about 130 international students, including:

  • 80 local students from outside the Atlantic bubble.
  • 30 international students who are arriving from other sites within Canada.
  • 20 international students who are currently staying outside Canada.