Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a stern and emotional message to Canadians as the country sees COVID-19 cases “spiking massively” - everyone needs to reduce their contacts “immediately.”
“I don’t want to be here, you don’t want me to be here – we’re all sick and tired of COVID-19. But this virus is not going away any time soon,” the PM started his message to Canadians.
“We need to do everything we can right now to slow the spread of COVID-19, to stop this spike in its tracks,” Trudeau said. “We are now going to have to really tighten up once again.”
“This is frustrating because I know we’ve all heard stories of people who have thrown up their hands and are not doing their part anymore, and it’s tempting for all of us to say, OK well maybe I can loosen up a bit more too, but the reality is we need to go in the opposite direction.”
The prime minister also spoke about how the number of COVID-19 cases in Canada are overwhelming hospitals, putting extensive pressure on frontline workers in the healthcare system.
“They’ve been on the front lines for almost 10 months now, putting in incredibly long hours, being creative in how they can save people and protect people, while at the same time trying to keep themselves safe, while at the same time having the same worries that each of us have about our loved ones, about our kids and schools, about our parents and grandparents,” Trudeau said.
“They keep showing up every single day to be there for us, putting their health, their lives and in many cases, their family’s lives on the line to keep us safe, and they’re tired, They have been heroes, they have been going above and beyond anything they might have thought they were signing up for. We need to help them.”
When asked about the Christmas holiday, the prime minister said that a “normal Christmas” is going to be “out of the question” this year but the extent of the regulations depends on the actions that Canadians take right now to limit contacts.
“I think the arrival of imminent vaccines on the horizon is both motivating people to say, OK we’re almost there, and others to say, OK that’s it I’m done, I’m just going to wait,” Trudeau said. “We’re not in a fair situation and all we can do is try and be there for each other as best we can.”
“If you were planning to see friends this weekend, maybe don’t. If there was a birthday party or a gathering for dinner you were thinking about doing, don’t do it.”
Although B.C. and Alberta governments have not adopted the federal COVID Alert app, the prime minister still urged people in those province to download it. He said he is still “hopeful” that local authorities will be able to provide that code for people to be identified as COVID-19 cases in the app, but also stressed it can still notify people in B.C. and Alberta if they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, who inputted a code into the app that they received from a test in another province.
Current border restrictions between Canada and the U.S. have been extended for another 30 days, until Dec. 21.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shared the update on Twitter on Friday, stating that “non-essential travel between our two countries remains restricted” until that date at the earliest.
This comes as federal officials released Canada’s latest modelling data, which showed that with the existing restrictions in place, the country will see 20,000 COVID-19 a day by the end of the year.