Canadians urged not to travel during coronavirus outbreak, but some are taking the risk

In the midst of a coronavirus outbreak and recent announcement urging Canadians to postpone or cancel non-essential travel, some Canadians are wondering if they should still take the risk. 

All cruise ships carrying over 500 passengers are banned from landing in Canada until later in the summer, and arriving flights will also be restricted to landing at specific airports.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said in a press conference on Friday that there are now 157 cases of the virus in Canada, and travel is affected as a result.

“My advice is to postpone or cancel all non-essential travel outside of Canada,” Tam said.

“This means reconsidering your vacations. By making the choice to stay at home and not travel outside of Canada, you are protecting yourself, your family and doing your part to slow the spread of the virus.”

The Public Health Agency of Canada releases travel health notices with the potential risks to Canadian travellers. They range from level one, meaning to practise normal precautions, to level four, which urges people to avoid all travel to high-risk countries.

Lesley Paull, owner of Edmonton-based Paull Travel, said people should definitely cancel or reschedule their trip to a country with a level three or four notice such as China, Italy and Iran.

“To go somewhere and you’re going to be worried the whole time, … that’s just not fun,” Paull said.

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