COVID-19 Update for January 5 – 12:20PM
This morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed Canadians in a press conference. He opened by reminding us that nearly 500,000 doses of vaccines have been delivered to the provinces and territories and that it is essential that each province and territory carries out their vaccination plan as quickly as possible.
Canada Sickness Benefit
Prime Minister Trudeau emphasized that this is not the time to vacation abroad.
He said that the Canada Sickness Benefit was created so that Canadians can take paid sick leave if their employer does not provide it. “The objective was never to send a cheque to those who are going on vacation,” Trudeau said. He made it clear that those who are travelling for non-essential reasons will not receive this benefit.
The Prime Minister reiterated that all Canadians who travel abroad must undergo a mandatory quarantine period of 14 days upon their return to Canada. He noted that there will be severe legal repercussions if not followed, including fines and even jail time.
As of January 7, Canadians returning from abroad must also provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
The Prime Minister also spoke about long-term care and how across the country, especially in Ontario, long-term care homes are facing concerning levels of COVID-19, calling it “unacceptable.”
He said that the federal government is available to support all provinces and territories to protect residents and workers in long-term care homes. Trudeau said his government has been in touch with the government of Ontario and stands ready to give targeted help where needed.
Long-term care will be a main point of discussion in Thursday’s First Ministers’ Meeting.