Quebec is closing all schools, junior colleges, universities and daycare centres in the province for two weeks beginning Monday to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Premier Francois Legault also called on the federal government today to rapidly limit the entry of foreign visitors into the country.
He says it’s inconsistent that the province’s citizens are being told to self-isolate for two weeks upon returning from travel, but foreign visitors face no such restrictions.
Speaking to reporters in Quebec City, Legault said daycare service would be available for the children of health care workers and others providing essential services.
Quebec has 17 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
On Thursday, the province asked all people returning from abroad to self-isolate for two weeks and banned indoor events attracting more than 250 people.
“I want to say to all parents, that I understand today’s announcement is going to have a significant impact,” Legault said Friday. “It’s going to result in disruptions, major headaches for a lot of parents, but it’s a measure we have to take, because we have the responsibility to do it, and we have a challenge in the next two weeks to ensure that there is as little progression as possible of cases.”
The premier appealed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take swift action at the border.
“We have a problem of consistency,” Legault said. “We are asking our citizens to take steps, to isolate themselves for 14 days, but we are asking nothing of foreign visitors. I am asking Justin Trudeau and the federal government to rapidly limit the entry of visitors to Canada.”
He said he plans to raise the issue when first ministers meet by teleconference later Friday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 13, 2020.