Ontario and Quebec to adopt strict measures
Canadians told to return home while they can, following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau phone call with President Trump. The two agreed to consider suspending flights between Canada and the US amid coronavirus outbreak fears.
This comes after growing numbers of COVID-19 cases in Canada raised suspicion at the feasibility of containment strategies. Meanwhile, health officials are introducing measures aimed at protecting the elderly.
In order to protect the population, Ottawa has responded by recommending caution and to follow hygiene rules set up by the WHO. However, both Ontario and Quebec adopted stricter regulations, with the goal of limiting visits at long-term care facilities.
In Ontario, chief medical officer Dr. David Williams strongly advised barring access to anyone but ‘essential visitors’. In this situation, that would mean the closest relative of a gravely ill person or the guardian of a sick child.
Even more radical is Quebec Premier Francois Legault’s proposal, which advises for everyone over the age of 70 to stay home. Moreover, he called for all all seniors residences and hospitals to ban visitors province-wide.
‘Return while you can’, Ottawa urges Canadians abroad to hasten back home
Global Affairs Canada has officially urged Canadians currently abroad to make it home as fast as possible. Word in Ottawa is that the government might impose nation-wide ban on commercial flights if the situation worsens. Also, there is no guarantee other governments around the globe won’t opt for the same travel restrictions.
Canadians abroad received an email from the ministry which reads: ‘Airlines have cancelled flights. New restrictions may be imposed with little warning. ind out what commercial options are still available to return to Canada. Consider returning to Canada earlier than planned if these options are becoming more limited.’
As worldwide events are cancelled and people keep in self-isolation, hundreds were turned away at an assessment centre in Ottawa because they did not meet criteria. It is as of today unclear whether a vaccine will be available by the end of the year against COVID-19, and many world governments appear not fully equipped to deal with a serious global pandemic.