Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during his daily press conference on the COVID-19 pandemic outside of his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, on Sunday, April 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Normal life won’t fully return until COVID-19 vaccine developed, Trudeau says

Physical distancing could continue for months

Normal life won’t return to Canada until a vaccine is developed, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in his daily update from Ottawa Thursday (April 9).

Trudeau said a vaccine would take time to develop and physical distancing will continue for “months” in order to keep infections and deaths down during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier Thursday morning, federal health officials released COVID-19 scenarios that showed Canada could keep deaths under 22,000 with strong containment measures.

A vaccine, Trudeau noted, might not come for between a year and 18 months – the same amount of time until things return to normal.

“We need to continue to listen to experts on next things we can do… to have the minimal impact on Canadians,” he said.

At a later press conference, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said the government “just can’t say” when the border would reopen. It was was shut to most international travel on March 16 and to non-essential travel to the U.S. on March 21.

Freeland said “it would be foolhardy in the extreme” to make any predictions.

Speaking on the country’s financial situation, the prime minister said he hopes to return to the economy to a “certain sense” of normalcy in the coming months.

“Our country will come roaring back,” he said.”

Trudeau spoke on the same day that unemployment data was released for March, showing that more than one million people lost their jobs and the unemployment rate jumped to 7.8% – a figure not seen since October 2010.

He said 4.6 million claims have been processed through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Treasury Board president Jean-Yves Duclos said five million claims total had been submitted for EI or CERB since March 15.

Chief medical officer Dr. Theresa Tam asked Canadians to treat the upcoming long weekend as a “staycation for the nation,” and stick to celebrating virtually with those outside their household.

More to come.

READ MORE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

READ MORE: Controls can keep Canadian COVID-19 deaths under 22,000, health agency says

READ MORE: Canada lost 1,011,000 jobs in March, unemployment rate up to 7.8%


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusJustin Trudeau

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seafest parade sails on June 27

Tides are turning during COVID-19 for Prince Rupert parade

SD 52 fires superintendent

Dr. Irene LaPierre removed from position immediately.

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

Necropsy for Port Edward wolf is scheduled

Wolf sightings in Prince Rupert have increased

Wolf killed in Port Edward

Samples to be sent to lab. for testing

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Most Read