One of Toronto's top pandemic experts says that Torontonians should avoid all and any travelling in Ontario for the next little while. 

Dionne M. Aleman, an associate professor at the University of Toronto and a mathematician who specializes in the spread of pandemics, says that people leaving Toronto and Peel region could start outbreaks in other, safer parts of the province.

Speaking to Narcity over email, Aleman says that people travelling to see family members this holiday season are likely to hurt those closest to them.

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I definitely suggest that Ontarians do not travel for the foreseeable future.

Dionne Aleman


"Since you will probably primarily be visiting family on [your] trip, your family will be the first people you infect," she writes.

No matter where people are travelling to or from, there are too many people to interact with along the way (like gas station attendants, Aleman says) to guarantee the virus has not been spread.

Aleman recommends that people connect with their families virtually, via the phone or the internet, instead of face-to-face this year.

Toronto is currently in lockdown, which means that bars, gyms, and hair salons are all closed; restaurants can only offer delivery or takeout; and non-essential retail stores must use curbside pickup only.

But Aleman says it is more important that Torontonians continue to make good personal decisions, wear masks, and social distance.

"If that happens, then we may see a significant slowing of the second wave, and the measures will have served their purpose," Aleman says.

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