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November 20, 2020 – Federal and provincial update on the COVID-19 pandemic

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

 Stay at home

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau returned to Rideau Cottage, his official residence, to serve as an example and promote telework in order to limit contacts and contribute to countering “the dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases in Canada, which is what we’re seeing around the world.”

With the approach of winter and the fact that Canadians will be spending more time at home, COVID-19 will spread more easily, he said.

The chief public health officer of Canada, Dr. Theresa Tam, announced that new projections show that the number of people infected with the virus could increase from 10,000 to 22,000 per day in December. She is concerned about an “explosion in cases.”

Mr. Trudeau urgently called on the population to stay at home as much as possible, to reduce physical contacts, to wear a mask when going out, to wash hands and to download the COVID Alert app for smart phones.

Moral contract for Christmas

Prime Minister Trudeau understands the respite that Québec Premier François Legault wants to offer Quebecers during the Holidays by allowing gatherings of 10 people from December 24 to 27.

“Mr. Legault recognizes what people are going through and is asking them to limit their contacts so that maybe they can enjoy a respite during Christmas,” while pointing out that there is still a month to go before the Holidays.

Mr. Trudeau reiterated that everyone needs to make a concerted effort in the weeks to come in order for the situation to improve, since the rate of contagion is increasing, not decreasing.

Status quo for organized sports

The minister for Education, Isabelle Charest, confirmed that the ban on organized sports will be kept in place even though discussions are ongoing with Public Health to find solutions, particularly for young people.

Ms. Charest stated that the current ban is being maintained for regions in the red zone: “The rules are very clear for everyone. There can be no organized sports or gatherings.”  

Canada-U.S. border closed until December 21

Prime Minister Trudeau confirmed that the Canadian and American governments have agreed to keep the Canada-U.S. border closed until December 21.

The purpose of keeping the border closed to non-essential travel between the two countries it to guarantee the safety of both Canadians and Americans.