COVID-19 Update for March 16, 2020 – 2:00pm

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided an update on the federal government’s response to COVID-19. He announced new protocols for Canada, but did not declare a National Emergency.

New COVID-19 response measures:

  • The government will be denying entry to Canada for people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents – i.e. all foreigners.
    • This will not apply to U.S. citizens.
    • There are also certain exemptions for diplomats and flight staff.
  • Any individual who is symptomatic of COVID-19 – including Canadian citizens – will not be allowed to board a plane bound for Canada.
  • Health protocols will be put in place for Canadians who are abroad to get home.
    • Air operators will be required to complete a full assessment of travellers boarding their planes.
    • The government will provide funding and support for Canadians who are abroad to cover essential costs, including health care and travel expenses.
    • Canadians who have recently returned are required to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Only four Canadian airports will accept international flights: Toronto Pearson, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary International Airports.
    • Domestic flights from the U.S and Mexico remain unaffected.
    • Commercial operations and supply chains will not be impacted as “these restrictions will not apply to commerce and trade.” More specifics on this sector are expected to come later.
    • All Canadians are advised to avoid all non-essential travel.

The Prime Minster noted that the federal response will be fully guided by health care experts and public health authorities. Additional measures are likely to follow over the next few days.

He added that the window to slow the virus is closing, concluding, “We must take very precaution to keep people safe.”

If you have any questions or concerns about impacts on your business please let us know.

The Enterprise Team

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