Normal Christmas out of question, says Trudeau as Toronto set to enter lockdown

A normal Christmas season in Canada is “out of the question” this year, warned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as he returned to daily briefings on the Covid-19 crisis that was a regular feature when the pandemic first struck the country.

“Here we are again,” Trudeau told reporters from his residence at Rideau Cottage in the capital Ottawa as the country witnesses a second surge in cases and its largest city Toronto is going back into lockdown from Monday.

Latest modelling figures from health authorities projected that Canada could see 60,000 cases per day if the current level of contact between people increased, and around 20,000 if they were maintained.

Confirmed cases touched 320,417 on Friday, up nearly 5,000 over the previous day and a nearly 40% spike over a fortnight. Deaths stood at 11,334, with the daily toll going up by over 50% when compared to 14 days earlier.

The provincial government of Ontario announced new lockdown measures beginning Monday including in Toronto. In-restaurant services will cease and non-essential businesses and malls will be impacted. These measures will remain in place for up to 28 days.

Trudeau also supported the re-imposition of restrictive measures in the coronavirus hotspots. “Going into lockdowns and supporting businesses while we’re in that lockdown is a better way of ensuring their success in a few months, in a few years, than trying to tough through a virus that is running around unchecked.”

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr Theresa Tam asked for “urgency” from the public to limit their contacts, adding, “We’re not on a good trajectory.”

In returning to the daily coronavirus update similar to this spring when cases first emerged, Trudeau said he was using his voice and position as PM to send out a clear message that “we’re in a serious situation.”

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