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

Sidney blocks off parking spaces to create more sidewalk

Additional measures to create more outdoor space for restaurants and cafe on way

Sidney/North Saanich RCMP seize vehicle stolen from New Westminster

Man arrested on Resthaven Drive charged with possession of property obtained by crime

Telus headquarters to come to Victoria in ‘landmark building’ development

City sells land on coroner of Douglas and Humboldt streets for $8.1 million

Victoria man identified as victim in Thunder Bay murder

Police investigating after Paul Vivier, 29, discovered in hotel

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Vancouver Island school principal mourns family killed during US protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Considerations made to keep Island community’s drive-by birthday celebrations going

Trucks will tone it down or not use horns at all to bring some joy to kids and older folks

Most Read