For Canadians who’ve been largely cooped up indoors for months on end, the prospect of a spring break vacation is likely an alluring one.
But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is urging restless sun-seekers to quell their wanderlust in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“No one should be taking a vacation abroad right now, if you’ve got one planned, cancel it and don’t book a trip for spring break,” Trudeau said during a news conference Friday.
He said they could be announcing new travel restrictions in the coming days.
“People should not be planning non-essential travel outside of the country … We could be bringing in new measures that significantly impede your ability to return to Canada at any given moment without warning.”
“It’s not the time to travel,” Trudeau reiterated.
But it’s not just trips down south that the PM is discouraging.
He also wants Canadians to avoid travelling within their own country.
“It’s obvious we should avoid trips south, and out of the country, but remember, across the country people are being told to stay home, so if you are thinking about travelling across the country for spring break now is not the time. We need to hang on and hold tight for the next few months.”
Trudeau’s attempts to deter travel come as several politicians and public figures have faced scandal for their own trips to sunny destinations.
Most notably, Rod Phillips resigned as Ontario Finance Minister after he took a trip with his wife to St. Barts in December.
Trudeau said it’s “understandable” that citizens are “fed-up” but added that with vaccines being rolled out, we are in the “final stretch.”
“We must get through to the spring and mass vaccinations in the best shape possible.”
As of Thursday at 7 p.m., Canada has 731,450 confirmed cases of COVID-19.