JOHN BRASSARD, BARRIE-INNISFIL MPP
Beginning at midnight, all travellers returning to Canada – with the exception of essential workers – will be subject to a mandatory 14-day isolation at home to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu made the announcement Wednesday morning and has directed Canada Border Services Agency officers to inform all returning Canadians and permanent residents to begin their two-week isolation at home immediately, without visiting friends, family members or businesses.
“This new measure will do two things,” said Barrie-Innisfil MP John Brassard. “First, it will provide clear instructions to those re-entering the country that self-isolation isn’t a choice. It is now mandatory for all travellers to stay at home for 14 days. Also, this new regulation will help to flatten the curve and protect all Canadians from the spread of COVID-19.”
The mandatory quarantine will not apply to essential workers, including truck drivers and health-care workers.
After a day of negotiation with all parties, an emergency financial aid package was approved by the House of Commons early Wednesday, to help Canadians and businesses that are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Every day I talk to Barrie-Innisfil residents who have lost their jobs or have had to adjust to reduced wages or working at home while they care for children no longer in school,” Brassard said. “I understand there are a growing number of people who need help and I’m doing everything I can to get that help in their hands as quickly as possible, and that includes help for the self-employed and employers as well.”
The aid package includes the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit that will provide up to $2,000 per month for four months to workers who have lost jobs. More than one million people across the country applied for Employment Insurance benefits last week and Brassard said the growing numbers are evidence that immediate help is needed.
He is, once again, reminding all Canadians about the importance of frequent hand washing and physical/social distancing.
“Stay home as much as possible and when you have to go out, it is critically important to maintain a safe distance of at least two metres away from others at all times,” Brassard said. “Physical distancing is something everyone of us must do to help stop the spread of this virus."
Visit the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit website for more information about self-isolating. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, use the Government of Canada self assessment or call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 for advice.