Trudeau: Social distancing could be in place for "weeks to months"

Mar 19 2020, 8:41 am

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau predicts Canada’s social distancing practices may last “weeks to months,” until Canadians are safe.

“I know it’s also a lot to take in,” said Trudeau. “Right now people need to know they have support for their jobs, businesses, and industries.”

During his daily coronavirus updates, Trudeau said that 50,000 Canadians have been tested since the beginning of the outbreak, and 25,000 were done in just the last week.

He added that Canada is investing $25 billion that will go to 49 researchers and their teams across the country, to help with measures to detect, manage and reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

And for healthy individuals, Trudeau is encouraging Canadians to donate blood, saying that the country is in need of blood donors.

Over the border, following US President Donald Trump and Trudeau’s announcement on Wednesday, the prime minister said the new restrictions will be applied Friday night, “in the next day and a half.”

Travellers will no longer be permitted to travel across the border for recreational or tourism purposes, but commercial trade will not be affected.

For those already abroad and looking to come back to Canada, Trudeau said he spoke to CEO’s of WestJet and Air Canada yesterday afternoon to help Canadians get back.

On Wednesday, the federal government announced that Rogers, Bell, Telus, Videotron, Freedom Mobile, Eastlink, and SaskTel will be sending their subscribers currently living or travelling abroad text messages containing consular support information and key contact information. This after Global Affairs Canada also announced a loan of up to $5,000 to help get Canadians home.

Thursday’s updates follow Trudeau’s $82B financial aid package announcement yesterday, which included information on Employment Insurance, Emergency Care Benefit,  Long-Term Income Support for Workers,  Student Loan Moratorium, and Child Care Benefits.

For now, Trudeau continues urging Canadians to stay home.

“We’re working to slow the spread of this virus, there is nothing we won’t do to keep you safe and to protect your health,” he said.