No travel ban, but travellers asked to self-isolate as Canada hits well over 300 COVID-19 cases

Canada has at least 313 cases of the novel coronavirus

More than 25,000 Canadians have been tested for COVID-19, the country’s top doctor said, as 313 cases of the virus have been diagnosed.

In a Sunday afternoon update, chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said all travellers are being asked to self-isolate when they enter Canada.

“I am asking everyone to take strong action to help us delay the spread of COVID-19,” Tam said.

“This is our chance right here right now. We need to act now and act together.”

When asked about travellers reporting that they’re not being told to self-isolate as they enter Canada, Tam said that messaging is rolling out.

“”Right now, you may not be seeing that message” to self-isolate, Tam acknowledged. “That is rapidly being implemented” at airports and border crossings.

However, the self-isolation is still voluntary, Tam said, stressing that asking health officials to keep tabs on all travellers is “impossible.”

All travel that is not “absolutely essential” should be cancelled or postponed, Tam said.

However, a full-scale travel ban is not in the works, she said.

“We have to maintain essential movement of people and goods and services,” she said.

Tam said that a travel ban is not an evidence-backed way to stop the spread of COVID-19, cities countries with stringent travel bans but also serious outbreaks of the novel coronavirus.

Most of the cases in Canada are in Ontario, where 39 new cases were confirmed on Sunday, but Tam said B.C. and Alberta are seeing rapid increases in cases as well.

Tam echoed calls from provincial health officials in B.C. and other provinces, discouraging people from attending any large gatherings and asking them to practice social distancing. In B.C., health officials have asked organizers to cancel all gatherings of more than 250 people.

More to come.

READ MORE: Border closures, mandatory screening up for discussion amid COVID-19, Trudeau says

READ MORE: Passenger on Vancouver-Kelowna flight tests positive for COVID-19


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Antibody tests could be the next step in fighting COVID-19, Island doctor says

The blood test could show if a person is recovering or has recovered from the virus

Greater Victoria resident shares joy in horseshoe pitching competitions from home

Horseshoe Pitching Online offers everyone the chance to compete

Life mimics art for actors in play about pandemic

Performers from Oak Bay theatre school see parallels with recent play based on 1918 Spanish flu

“Isolation is normal for us,” says Saanich dad with cystic fibrosis

Gordon Head man says now’s the time to approve life-saving cystic fibrosis drug

Victoria business still busy as people turn to books while in self-isolation

Russell Books says certain genres have gained popularity during COVID-19

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

Most Read