Here where we’re based in Toronto, the Government of Ontario has today (Friday, March 27, 2020) issued an emergency alert for all travellers returning to Canada to self-isolate upon return, by law.

The alert went out via the Amber Alert system, and stated that you must immediately self-isolate for 14 days (quarantine yourself in your home) as you are at high risk for spreading COVID-19, that you are NOT to visit any family, friends, or to visit any stores. It was also made clear this is NOT a voluntary demand, but is now required by law.

Note this is part of a national emergency response, and that the Government of Canada is also requiring ALL travellers arriving in Canada to self-isolate immediately upon return.

So, to all travellers returning to Canada today, please do this!

If you’re unsure about the public health and COVID-19 situation in your area, check out your local health department website, your local/municipal government website, local news or local channels of communication, and/or your provincial or state government site.

Here’s a few more details from the Government of Ontario on the situation of COVID-19, as of March 27, 2020, which likely applies to most (f not all) locations on the planet right about now, and for the time being:

Returning from travel:

Anyone who has travelled outside of Canada should:

  • self-isolate for 14 days when they return. People who are self-isolating should not go to work
  • monitor themselves for symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus for 14 days after returning to Canada
  • contact their primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 if they experience symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus

In addition:

  • Workers who have travelled and are part of workplaces that are essential to daily living are able to return to work as long as they do not have symptoms. However, they should self-monitor for a period of 14 days and identify themselves to their employer so that a plan can be put into place to ensure the protection of those workplaces.

 

  • Children under the age of 16 years who have travelled outside of Canada should also self-isolate for a period of 14 days. Parents should actively monitor their children’s symptoms. Children who are self-isolating should stay at home and avoid social gathering points such as community centres or parks.

Learn about travel advisories related to the 2019 novel coronavirus.

Coronaviruses

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious respiratory infections like bronchitis, pneumonia or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact, for example, in a household, workplace or health care centre.

Some human coronaviruses spread easily between people, while others do not.

Your risk of severe disease may be higher if you have a weakened immune system. This may be the case for:

  • older people
  • people with chronic disease (for example, diabetes, cancer, heart, renal or chronic lung disease)

Current affected areas

The number of countries now reporting cases of COVID-19 has expanded and continues to change on a daily basis. The World Health Organization (WHO) is maintaining lists of affected areas/countries in their daily Situation Report, which can be found on the WHO website.

 

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