If you’re already tired of staying home, there’s bad news ahead. Speaking on Saturday, the Health Minister warned that social distancing in Canada is likely to last months, not weeks. She also explained that the government would consider looking to “contain people in their own homes,” if they fail to take adequate precautions during the COVID-19 outbreak
As cases of the novel coronavirus continue to be diagnosed across Canada, the country’s Health Minister has delivered a strong message to the public.
Speaking at Parliament Hill on Saturday, Patty Hajdu told Canadians to be prepared to stay at home for the foreseeable future, as “we will be in this situation for a while.”
“I think Canadians need to understand, this isn’t about two weeks of social distancing,” Hajdu explained. “This is about months of social distancing.”
The Health Minister went on to confirm that while there are currently no federal laws in place to stop people going out, this could change if people do not take adequate precautions.
“When people are playing loose and hard with the rules like this, it does actually put our civil liberties in jeopardy,” she said.
Hadju added that the government would look at more stringent measures if they have to, and would consider moving to “actually contain people in their own homes.”
The Health Minister’s message comes as the federal government has urged Canadians to practice social distancing and stay at home wherever possible.
This advice comes as the country’s bars, restaurants, non-essential stores, and even national parks have closed their doors to the public.
Speaking from his Ottawa home on Saturday, where he remains in self-quarantine, Justin Trudeau explained, “I want to thank the millions upon millions of Canadians who have self-isolated, who are engaged in social distancing.”
These latest updates come as some of Canada’s provinces and territories are taking stronger independent action to combat the spread of COVID-19.
On Saturday, the Northwest Territories made the move to ban all non-essential travel into the region, while P.E.I.’s chief public health officer announced enhanced screening measures for anybody attempting to enter the province.
A similar decision has been made in Newfoundland and Labrador, where all travellers, from inside Canada and beyond, will have to self-isolate for at least 14 days.
Concluding her address on Saturday, Hadju added, "I would encourage Canadians to think about that and to think about their obligation to act collectively right now."
"Right now is your chance," she said.
You can keep up-to-date with all of Canada’s latest COVID-19 news and advice by clicking here.