PEI — With the Atlantic Bubble opening up Atlantic Canadian borders to East Coast residents this Friday, the various provinces within the region have their own set of border entry rules. Prince Edward Island’s rules are perhaps the strictest, with visitors required to fill out an online declaration form ahead of time and submit to health screenings.
Today, Prince Edward Island announced another rule for those wishing to enter: visitors must hand over a credit card upon entry, that will only be returned two weeks after they leave when it is confirmed that they did not pass COVID-19 on to any P.E.I. residents.
The idea is based on the system of bars holding a credit card or ID when you open a tab to make sure it gets paid. With P.E.I., if COVID-19 is passed along by the visitor, the credit card will be used to pay any medical expenses not covered by insurance, and any missed wages if applicable.
“This is so stupid!” raved New Brunswick resident George Watson. “How in the hell am I supposed to spend tourism dollars on P.E.I. if they’ve got my credit card? I don’t carry more than $100 in my chequings account at any given time.”
P.E.I. Premier Dennis King said that the strict measures are completely necessary.
“If we don’t raise the stakes for visitors, they’ll obviously just lie so that they can come in, eat some COWS ice cream, get a photo wearing some red pigtails, spread the COVIDs, and leave us in the dust,” said King.
“Holding on to their credit cards ensures that they do everything in their power not to infect the island, and while they’re here, we can tack on a few hidden charges to get some extra dollars for the transportation department.”
Stacey Hudson, bridge toll worker, expects lots of pushback from visitors, but remains optimistic.
“We already get lots of flak for people having to spend $55 just to leave the island,” said Stacey. “I know tons of visitors will try to refuse to hand over their credit cards, but I’m prepared to wrestle them out of their cars, pin them on the ground, and pull their cards out of their purses or wallets.”
Tourism New Brunswick is hoping that New Brunswickers won’t own credit cards due to not qualifying, and will thus be forced to return to their home province and spend their cash there.