MONTREAL (AFP) – Any Canadians showing possible symptoms of having the novel coronavirus will not be allowed to board trains or planes for domestic travel, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Saturday (March 28).
The new restrictions will take effect on Monday, Trudeau told reporters at his daily press briefing.
Passengers will be asked to undergo a mandatory health check before boarding a plane or train, and personnel can deny them access if they are deemed to be unwell.
The measures do not apply to commuter trains for the time being, but rather intercity rail service, the government said.
Trudeau reiterated that anyone with flu-like symptoms should remain at home.
His government had already asked airlines to bar any passengers showing symptoms from boarding flights to Canada.
Bus travel is not affected by the new restrictions, as they are not regulated by federal authorities.
Trudeau said for “right now,” he did not envision closing the borders between the country’s provinces.
“There is essential travel that is happening as merchandise and food gets delivered across the country,” Trudeau said.
But he urged citizens to do all they can to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus, especially by simply staying at home.
Canada’s transport ministry said in a statement that passenger health checks would include “asking health questions” and “looking for visible signs of illness prior to boarding.”
Air and rail operators would be required to refuse boarding to “a passenger that presents Covid-19 symptoms” for a period of 14 days, or unless a medical certificate was produced explaining that the symptoms were “not related to Covid-19.”
Canada has confirmed more than 5,100 coronavirus infections and recorded 55 deaths, according to health authorities.