Federal gov’t to distribute 1.1 million masks, require quarantine plan from returnees

Federal gov't to distribute 1.1 million masks, require quarantine plan from returnees
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PM Justin Trudeau provided updates on medical supplies, requirements for travellers and aid for northern communities in his daily address.

After taking a few days off over the Easter weekend, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau returned to routine and provided an update to Canadians on medical masks, travel regulations, and new financial aid Tuesday morning.

During a press conference from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Trudeau began by addressing the ongoing medical supply concerns being raised around the country.

According to the Prime Minister, over the long weekend Canada received “four planes worth” of N-95 medical masks along with other essential personal protective equipment.

“As we speak workers are unpacking and validating these supplies so we can start shipping them to the provinces and territories as quickly as possible,” said Trudeau.

The weekend arrival of masks is in addition to the 820,000 that were shipped out across the country last week.

“All told, this means we have 1.1 million N-95’s ready to be shipped to the provinces and territories with more to come,” claimed Trudeau, suggesting that the masks will be delivered in the next few days.

On top of the masks, the Prime Minister said that they’ve received millions of pairs of protective gloves and that the medical gowns being produced domestically will be ready for distribution as soon as next Monday.

Trudeau also followed the lead of BC Premier John Horgan and announced new requirements for anyone returning to the country.

Beginning at midnight tonight, travellers returning to Canada must outline a credible quarantine plan to border officials. For anyone who is unable to produce a plan, they will be required to quarantine in a hotel room for 14 days.

According to Trudeau, this is aimed at “strengthening measures” of prevention, while lowering the risk to Canadians.

The move mirrors one made by BC Premier John Horgan last week, ahead of the Easter long weekend. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also pointed to the success of the quarantine plan requirement in an update given to British Columbians on Monday, April 13. Dr. Henry said of the 1,701 people that returned to BC since April 10, only 13 couldn’t produce a credible plan and needed to be provided with quarantine accommodation.

Trudeau also revealed new government aid going towards northern communities. During his press conference, Trudeau said the government is allocating nearly $130 million towards supporting communities and their health care resources. Specifically, $72.6 million will be going to the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut for community preparedness. The additional funds will go towards ensuring access to essential supplies through organizations like Nutrition North Canada.

“This will make it easier to afford the food and basics to keep you and your family healthy.”

Northern air carriers will also be compensated in an effort to ensure that food is able to arrive in remote communities.

In addition to the aid to northern communities, Trudeau suggested that further government relief was going to be announced this week for students, essential workers, and hard-hit sectors. The Prime Minister also said to expect further details on the wage subsidy, which was passed by the House of Commons over the weekend, and the Canada Emergency Business Account loans in the near future.




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