Quebec Premier Is First In Canada To Introduce Mandatory Self-Isolation For Travellers
Anybody who's travelled abroad is asked to self-isolate for two weeks.
Quebec’s Premier has announced a series of new measures that will intend to control the spread of COVID-19 in the province. On Thursday, Francois Legault became the first to suggest mandatory self-isolation in Canada after travelling internationally, regardless of the country visited. Additionally, he’s asking health care professionals to avoid travelling altogether.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, Premier Francois Legault explained that the province was preparing to take serious action to combat COVID-19 in Quebec.
Legault announced that anybody who has recently returned from a trip abroad should self-quarantine for two weeks, whether or not they have symptoms.
For students, as well as government employees who work in health or education, Legault says this isolation will be mandatory.
Additionally, the premier confirmed he was preparing to issue a directive to hospital staff in the region, which will order them to stop travelling internationally for the time being, regardless of the purpose of the trip.
This is some of the strongest action reported from any of Canada’s provinces so far, with Legault telling reporters, "We need to delay the contagion."
"The next few weeks will be critical, and our goal is to slow the propagation of the virus as much as possible."
In addition to self-isolating, Quebec’s provincial government is also recommending those who can work from home do so.
Indoor events with crowds of more than 250 people are also being cancelled across the region, while Legault also urges organizers of any non-essential events to cancel them.
"I know I'm asking a lot," he said. "But if we want to succeed, I need the help of all Quebecers, not to travel anywhere, not to go to a show, a hockey game. It's a major change, but this is very critical."
Ascontinue to be cancelled nationally, Legault confirmed that the province is not ruling out stronger measures.
When asked if they would consider shutting down schools or putting the City of Montreal under quarantine, the province's Public Health Director simply responded, “I will tell you, everything is possible. We will make a logical decision based on the situation.”
While there are currently only 13 confirmed cases of the virus in Quebec, the province is taking stronger COVID-19 measures than most Canadian regions so far.
It remains to be seen whether provinces like Ontario and B.C. will follow suit.
On Thursday, Legault will discuss managing the pandemic with the Prime Minister and the rest of Canada’s premiers.
The meeting is expected to be digital, asdue to COVID-19.