Skip to content

Prime Minister urges Canadians to stay home to stop spread of COVID-19

Federal Government to make another 'major announcement' tomorrow regarding financial supports
Photo: Video Screenshot

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is urging Canadians to stay home in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

Speaking from self-isolation at his home Tuesday morning, Trudeau said that Canadians should do what they can to "lighten the load" of the country's healthcare workers by practising social distancing and not gathering in groups of more than 50 people.

"Our doctors and nurses need your help, your neighbours need your help, vulnerable people in your community need your help," said Trudeau. "As much as possible, stay home. Don't go out unless you absolutely have to."

He also stressed the importance of frequent hand-washing and coughing and sneezing into your elbow. 

The prime minister also announced that, as of Wednesday, Parks Canada will be suspending visitor services at all national parks and historic sites in order to help "flatten the curve" of the coronavirus. 

"Pretty much anything with a door will be closed," said Trudeau.

The prime minister acknowledged the steps Canadians are taking to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, but said he can't predict how long these measures will be in place, adding it could be "weeks or months."

'Major' economic announcement coming tomorrow

Tomorrow Trudeau said he will make another "major announcement" regarding economic actions to support Canadians during the coronavirus. By the end of the week, the government will provide an update on changes to the upcoming tax season, and is looking at giving people more flexibility to make payments.

He also said parliament may be recalled to the House of Commons so the government can discuss emergency economic measures in order to support Canadians. The federal government will also examine the Emergency Measures Act to see if implementing it is necessary, or if there are "other ways to take the actions needed to protect people."

Earlier Tuesday, Ontario declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19, closing the city's public mandating the closure of all restaurants and bars, although they can still sell food items if they offer take out and delivery. 

Most facilities in the city have been closed, except for those deemed essential services, including public transit, grocery stores and pharmacies, and offices. 

Trudeau said Ontario is taking the "right steps" in declaring the emergency to protect residents and its health care system, adding that the federal government "will be there" for affected workers. 

On Monday, the prime minister announced Canada is shutting its air borders to foreign nationals, and only allowing entry to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Exceptions to this include air crews, family members of citizens and Americans. 

As of Tuesday morning, there are over 400 cases of the coronavirus in Canada, spread over the country's ten provinces. Eight Canadians repatriated from the Grand Princess cruise ship have tested positive for the virus will in quarantine at CFB Trenton.

On Monday, B.C. health authorities reported 30 new cases of COVID-19, and three more deaths, all residents of the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver.

Globally, there are 190,836 cases of the coronavirus, with 7,527 deaths reported. 

For more of our COVID-19 coverage, click here