The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that all non-essential travel outside of Canada be postponed or canceled.
Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam made the announcement along with members of the Trudeau government on Friday.
Tam explains that by choosing to stay at home and avoid all travel abroad, Canadians will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Everyone has to do their part to smooth this epidemic curve. We have to change our behavior, ”she said.
Federal Minister of Transport Marc Garneau said that all cruise ships of more than 500 people will not be able to stop in Canada until July 1.
International flights will be limited to a number of Canadian airports, in order to better focus the resources of border services that screen travelers upon arrival.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will speak to Canadians from a distance. He is in solitary confinement after his wife was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Parliament is suspended until April 20 due to COVID-19. The decision is effective immediately.
The Leader of the Government’s motion was adopted unanimously by the House of Commons on Friday morning.
“This decision is made to ensure the safety and health of all Canadians. We did not take it lightly, ”said Pablo Rodriguez, in his speech.
This motion allows the government to withdraw the planned date from the federal budget, March 30. It could be postponed to a later date which remains to be determined.
The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement was adopted at third reading in the Commons. The Senate will sit on Friday, exceptionally, and should adopt it.
The Senate will also suspend its work afterwards for four weeks.
The motion adopted on Friday also reminds Parliament to adopt immediate measures to counter the effects of COVID-19.
Rodriguez suggested that this could be done with a small group of MPs, who would not need to travel by plane.
The Bloc Québécois is asking that the two lost weeks be taken up later, during the summer or in the fall.
“These are discussions that we will have together. We are completely open to that, ”replied Mr. Rodriguez.
It is not excluded, either, that the Chamber will suspend its work beyond April 20 if necessary.
In the meantime, it is recommended that MPs who return to their constituencies avoid large gatherings and comply with public health guidelines.