PEI amends COVID-19 restrictions and moves to 72 hour lockdown (UPDATED) - Retail Council of Canada
Advocacy | Coronavirus | Prince Edward Island

PEI amends COVID-19 restrictions and moves to 72 hour lockdown (UPDATED)

February 28, 2021

UPDATE MARCH 1, 2021: PEI has released list of retailers considered essential during lockdown.

Effective as of March 1, 2020, Prince Edward Island is in Modified Alert Level Red, which will last for at least 72 hours with only businesses considered essential being allowed to open. The government has finally provided guidance on the impact of the associated restrictions for businesses.

With an ultimate goal of limiting the movement of people, only businesses that are deemed to be essential will be allowed to open. RCC has been in regular contact with PEI Public Health over the course of the weekend to advocate for a broad list of retailers to be included in any essential service list, however, the government ultimately decided to follow the federal government’s guidance list.

Retailers considered essential

Based on the federal government’s guidance list, the following retail products are considered essential and thus, customers are allowed to enter retail stores to purchase these products:

  • Pharmacy
  • Grocery (including convenience and pet food stores)
  • Stores that sell beverage products including PEI Liquor
  • Building materials
  • Appliances
  • Janitorial and cleaning services
  • Businesses that supply office products and services, including providing computer products and related repair and maintenance services, for individuals working from home and for essential businesses
  • Safety products

In addition:

  • Commercial trucking is allowed to continue
  • Restaurants can only offer take-out and delivery options

For the Alert Level Red, retailers that sell essential products are only allowed to sell those products. Furthermore, these retailers must limit their in-store customers to 50% of the standard operating capacity. Retailers of non-essential products can continue to offer e-commerce and provide customers with curbside pickup and delivery services.

See PEI’s list of Essential and Non-Essential Services for more information.


RCC has expressed concern with the fact that the government had just announced a different plan on Saturday evening to deal with the recent increase in COVID-19 cases. (The previous plan involved limiting in-store customer capacity to 50% of the fire code.) Less than 24 hours later, the province changed course and announced a lockdown, without initially providing any details.

Next steps

Government has stated that tightened COVID-19 restrictions will be in place for a number of weeks. Therefore, RCC continues to push that following the 72 hour Modified Alert Level Red, government should allow all retail to welcome customers in-store with capacity limits. 

Jim Cormier

For questions or more information contact

Jim Cormier
Director, Government Relations (Atlantic) 
902 422-4144