March 28, 2020 – New measures by governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
In the exceptional circumstances of the current health state of emergency, here is an update on recent decisions by federal and provincial public authorities in connection with the coronavirus epidemic.
Our governments are encouraging people to stay home, respect social distancing, protect themselves and protect essential service workers, and specified that everyone must do their part so that we can return to a situation of normalcy as soon as possible.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that we are in an unprecedented situation in Canada, and around the world: “We must be there for each other. The measures we are taking are the right ones, and we must persevere. The Canadian population is up to this challenge.”
Deputy Premier Geneviève Guilbault stressed the importance of keeping up morale, staying united and showing solidarity, and not letting our guard down on the protection directives. Every action counts and everyone must do their part.
The number of coronavirus COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Québec and in Canada.
Order to limit access to eight regions
The Québec government announced restricted access to eight regions in Québec, effective at 4 p.m. today, and limited travel in and out of these regions for the purpose of essential services only in order to protect the populations in these areas, which are considered the most vulnerable due to their older population. The regions are Bas-Saint-Laurent, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Côte-Nord, Nord du Québec, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Gaspésie-Île-de-la-Madeleine, Nunavik and Cree territories around James Bay. Road checkpoints will be erected along major roads and people will have to meet the criteria for essential travel in order to enter or leave these regions.
Aside from this restricted access, everyone must remain within their region and avoid all non-essential travel. No region is protected from increasing contagion. The situation continues to be the most difficult in Montréal and in the Eastern Townships.
Preventive police interventions in Montréal
The health state of emergency declared in Montréal is valid for five days and will enable police officers to intervene with anyone who is not following the directives to prevent contagion. These individuals could be confined depending on the situation.
The federal government announced that anyone presenting symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted to travel between provinces, as of Monday at noon, by plane or by train. Airline and rail companies will be responsible for these control measures.
Moreover, isolation for 14 days is now mandatory for anyone entering the country. This morning, the Québec government added checkpoints along the U.S. land border to inform foreigners entering the country of the isolation directives and to enable monitoring in order to protect the population and limit contagion.
The Canadian prime minister called on the population to prioritize phone and online orders of food in order to avoid going to the grocery store and putting workers at risk.
He repeated that during deliveries, distancing directives must be followed in order to protect delivery workers, who are essential during this global pandemic.
Canadians who meet eligibility criteria for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit are asked to register on the Canada Revenue Agency website by accessing the My file secure portal in order to accelerate the registration process for the emergency assistance, and to choose direct deposit in order to accelerate the process for receiving the $2,000 benefit for those who are eligible.
Appealing to youth
After having been in contact with the Youth Council, Justin Trudeau told youth he is counting on them to continue to fight against climate change and poverty in order to build a better world.
Quebecers are being called on to be vigilant and to inform the proper authorities of any inappropriate situations, such as gatherings. The deputy premier called on the population to be united, to show solidarity and to not “fall into abusive surveillance and creating a climate of suspicion. We must not become paranoid,” she said.
Acknowledgement of essential security services
All those who provide security on a daily basis were thanked for their dedication during this exceptional time in our society.