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

Vernon couple support Kidney Walk despite setbacks

Jacqueline Marioni has had two kidney transplants; both organs have rejected or are rejecting her

Vernon Vipers land prep school blueliner

Griffen Barr, from Nanaimo, was captain of Shawnigan Lake club in 2019-20

Okanagan home sales increase over last month, still below 2019 numbers: OMREB

Sales, listings see increase over May’s numbers but dwindle in comparison to 2019

Suspicious activity on Predator Ridge bike trails

A rock deliberately placed on a hazardous corner results in bolstered security, cameras

Vernon Para-snowboarder crushed by competition ban

Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport said Matt Hamilton tested positive for a banned substance

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

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Drugs, machete found in truck with stolen plate driven by Salmon Arm man

Chase RCMP arrest driver and have vehicle towed

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

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

Top cop calls video of Kelowna Mountie striking suspect ‘concerning’

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

HERGOTT: Can you get money back if COVID-19 disrupts plans?

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

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

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read