coronavirus quebec

Quebec is first province in Canada to mandate self-isolation for travellers

People living in the province of Quebec have now been asked to self-isolate for 14 days after any international travel, regardless of whether they are exhibiting symptoms of illness. 

Premier Francois Legault enacted this and a number of other new rules in response to the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, announcing that "all of Quebec needs to get into an emergency mode."

The self-quarantine is encouraged for all residents who have recently gone on a trip, and is absolutely mandatory for students and those working in the public sector or the health and education systems within the province.

Though some workplaces across the country have imposed their own guidelines about travel amid COVID-19 fears, this marks the first time a provincial government has implemented such measures.

Pour le moment, la pandémie de Covid-19 est sous contrôle au Québec. On a maintenant 13 cas, dont 2 hospitalisations. Mais il faut prendre toutes les mesures pour ralentir au maximum la propagation du virus. Les prochaines semaines vont être critiques. C’est pour ça que j’annonce aujourd’hui que tout le Québec doit se mettre en mode urgence. Je demande à tous les Québécois de respecter les consignes d’hygiène, en particulier pour ne pas exposer nos aînés. Lavez vos mains fréquemment, évitez les rassemblements qui ne sont pas nécessaires et faites du télétravail autant que possible. Si vous avez des symptômes ou si vous revenez de l’étranger, je vous demande de vous placer en isolement volontaire pour 14 jours. Au moindre doute, on s’isole. Pour des informations sur la Covid-19 : 1-877 644-4545 Les Québécois doivent savoir qu’on en a pour des mois. Je vais faire le point sur la situation à tous les jours. La santé de notre monde doit passer en premier. Votre gouvernement est mobilisé et si tout le monde fait sa part, on va passer au travers de cette épreuve tous ensemble.

A post shared by François Legault (@francoislegault.pm) on

Legault also asked anyone showing flu-like symptoms who has not traveled recently to stay home for a minimum of two weeks, and has ordered all medical staff to cease any and all international travel.

Indoor gatherings of more than 250 people have also been prohibited to help halt community spread, while large theatres, arenas and other public facilities in Montreal have been closed down indefinitely. (The NBA, NHL and MLB have postponed their seasons anyway).

Schools will have to cancel school trips to "at-risk" countries, a list of which will be posted publicly in the coming days.

Legault said to press that he "needs the help of all Quebecers — not to travel anywhere, not to go to a show, a hockey game. It's a major change, but this is very critical."

Public sector employees will be paid for time off for self-quarantine if necessary, while the logistics of offering private sector staffers the same are still being worked out.

Quebec currently has 13 cases of the novel virus, while there are 59 in Ontario, 46 in B.C., 19 in Alberta, one in New Brunswick and one a repatriated Canadian in Trenton, Ontario.

Alberta has followed Quebec's lead to cancel gatherings over 250 people, while Ontario has closed down all public schools for two weeks.

Lead photo by

Ken Yam/Unsplash


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