Canada is officially sending a plane to evacuate citizens from Wuhan in China
Canada has just announced that it will send a plane to evacuate Canadian citizens from Wuhan, China.
Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said that an airplane has been secured to bring home any Canadians wishing to return from China.
Champagne added that based on U.S. evacuation efforts — which successfully brought a plane of passengers from China to California this morning — it will likely take a few days before Canadians can return from Wuhan.
He also said that details are currently being discussed with the Chinese authorities.
Foreign Affairs Minister says securing the plane is the first step to repatriating these 160 Canadians. Next steps will be to work with Chinese authorities to gain access to the locked down region and work on logistics of this flight. #cdnpoli— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) January 29, 2020
He refused to confirm whether Canadian taxpayers would be on the hook for these repatriation efforts.
Health Minister Patty Hajdu said that discussions are ongoing as to whether symptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the flight.
The Minister can't say at this point if any of those Canadians in China are currently sick. Discussions are ongoing about whether or not they will let someone board the plane if they are showing any symptoms #cdnpoli— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) January 29, 2020
Following the American example, returning passengers will likely have to be quarantined for a specified amount of time — although how long that time will be for remains unclear.
With 160 Canadians in China already requesting consular assistance, the plane will certainly be put to good use.
Canada is also now advising that Canadians avoid all non-essential travel to China.
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