No travel ban, but travellers asked to self-isolate as Canada hits well over 300 COVID-19 cases

Canada has at least 313 cases of the novel coronavirus

More than 25,000 Canadians have been tested for COVID-19, the country’s top doctor said, as 313 cases of the virus have been diagnosed.

In a Sunday afternoon update, chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said all travellers are being asked to self-isolate when they enter Canada.

“I am asking everyone to take strong action to help us delay the spread of COVID-19,” Tam said.

“This is our chance right here right now. We need to act now and act together.”

When asked about travellers reporting that they’re not being told to self-isolate as they enter Canada, Tam said that messaging is rolling out.

“”Right now, you may not be seeing that message” to self-isolate, Tam acknowledged. “That is rapidly being implemented” at airports and border crossings.

However, the self-isolation is still voluntary, Tam said, stressing that asking health officials to keep tabs on all travellers is “impossible.”

All travel that is not “absolutely essential” should be cancelled or postponed, Tam said.

However, a full-scale travel ban is not in the works, she said.

“We have to maintain essential movement of people and goods and services,” she said.

Tam said that a travel ban is not an evidence-backed way to stop the spread of COVID-19, cities countries with stringent travel bans but also serious outbreaks of the novel coronavirus.

Most of the cases in Canada are in Ontario, where 39 new cases were confirmed on Sunday, but Tam said B.C. and Alberta are seeing rapid increases in cases as well.

Tam echoed calls from provincial health officials in B.C. and other provinces, discouraging people from attending any large gatherings and asking them to practice social distancing. In B.C., health officials have asked organizers to cancel all gatherings of more than 250 people.

More to come.

READ MORE: Border closures, mandatory screening up for discussion amid COVID-19, Trudeau says

READ MORE: Passenger on Vancouver-Kelowna flight tests positive for COVID-19


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oak Bay deputy police chief and family cut Guatemala vacation short to return home

Belize border, punctured gas tank part of the adventure

Program makes a connection with isolated Victoria seniors

Phoning Seniors Together program lines up volunteers with seniors at Luther Court

West Shore businesses bring fitness online during COVID-19

At-home workouts offered to help community keep fit

Mental Health: Fractured services leave community to fill gaps

Greater Victoria service providers working together to help youth

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Most Read