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January 22, 2021 – Federal government update on the COVID-19 pandemic

Here is an update on recent decisions and actions by the Canadian government in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Changes coming regarding non-essential travel

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that the federal government is getting ready to announce, “in the next few days,” changes to health and quarantine measures for non-essential travel abroad.

Canada’s prime minister warned that new measures could be announced without warning, in the context of new strains of the coronavirus, even more contagious than the first, currently circulating in the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa.

Mr. Trudeau reiterated that, last March, the Canadian government instituted the strictest measures in the world for travellers arriving from abroad, that is, imposing a mandatory supervised 14-day quarantine and issuing severe fines for offenders.

Prime Minister Trudeau also reiterated that the government has been calling on Canadians for close to a year now to avoid all non-essential travel abroad and even, for the time being, any non-essential travel within the country. “If you have a trip planned, cancel it,” said Mr. Trudeau.

The government is currently looking at new measures, but the prime minister reiterated that they will only be applied for a few months, given that the vaccination campaign is now underway.

Vaccination: 4 million doses by March 1

Despite the postponement of deliveries of the vaccine during the expansion of Pfizer’s facility in Belgium, Prime Minister Trudeau assured Canadians that the 4 million doses Canada is scheduled to receive by March 1 will arrive on time.

The prime minister added that in the spring, over 20 million doses will have been distributed to the provinces and territories.

“We’re going to stay the course so that by September, all Canadians who want to be vaccinated will have received the vaccine,” said Mr. Trudeau.