The rapidly-spreading Corona Virus outbreak continues to upend life across the world as more countries tightened quarantine measures. Schools, offices, bars, restaurants, and many stores remain closed across major Canadian and European cities, and dozens of countries are shutting their borders or implementing mandatory self-isolation stints for travelers arriving from abroad. Like my country Canada.
As many parts of the world continue to ramp up their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, Calgary-based airline WestJet says it will be suspending all commercial, international, and trans-border flights for a 30-day period, refocusing its efforts on repatriation flights for Canadians stuck abroad. After that, the airline will be operating rescue and repatriation flights in partnership with the Canadian government.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a number of additional measures being taken at a federal level in Canada to prevent further spread of the Corona Virus within the country. The most extreme is that Canada is closing its borders to non-citizens and anyone not holding permanent residence status, with the exception of U.S. citizens, though this won’t apply to commercial freight and cargo transportation necessary for doing business.
In addition to this border closure, all travelers, including Canadian citizens, who are exhibiting symptoms will be denied access when boarding flights, Trudeau said during a press conference on Monday.
“Let me be clear, if you’re abroad, you should come home. If you’ve just arrived, you must self-isolate for 14 days,” he said to close the conference, and added that even Canadians at home without symptoms should attempt to isolate and stay away from others as much as possible.
Trudeau was asked repeatedly what reasoning the Canadian government had for excluding U.S. citizens from this broad ban, especially given the ramp in cases in the country. He failed to really provide a substantive answer to the question, repeating often that the country’s strategy was based on what’s best for ensuring the health of its citizens at any given point, and that the strategy was evolving with new measures possibly being introduced frequently.
He did say that part of the reasoning for keeping the borders open to Americans was the integrated nature of the countries’ two economies, and seemed to indicate that there was still a possibility of an extension of the ban to U.S. citizens in the future. “We’re not closing the door to any measure, everything is on the table,” he said.
Looks like we are in the bell jar but as they say in AA this to shall pass! Be strong everyone and safe. Do what you must to help eliminate casualties. I love my readers as you know and in this time of uncertainty pull together and help one another. Especially those who are most at the greatest risk.
Not to be self-promoting but if you find yourself looking for something to do you can always catch up on my blog. I know…shameless.
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