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covid-19 icon

The Government of Canada is asking all Canadians currently returning from any travel abroad to self-isolate for 14 days.

The request has been issued in order to help limit the spread of COVID-19, which is transmittable even by some people who are not experiencing any symptoms.

By the federal government’s description, self-isolation involves not leaving home unless “absolutely necessary,” such as seeking medical care.

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Expectations for returning travellers and others who are self-isolating include:

  • Staying home from work and school (where schools are still open);
  • Avoiding public transportation;
  • Arranging to have supplies such as groceries dropped off at their doors;
  • Especially avoiding elderly people and anyone with compromised immune systems or chronic conditions;
  • Keeping any unavoidable interactions with other people brief, maintaining at least two metres’ distance from them and wearing a mask.

Coronavirus questions answered by health columnist André Picard

covid-19 icon

Advice for enhanced hygiene measures within the home by those who are self-isolating include:

  • Frequently washing their hands, using soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, or removing dirt with a wet wipe and then using alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
  • Avoiding touching their faces;
  • Coughing and sneezing only into the bend of their arm or a tissue;
  • Cleaning and disinfecting at least once daily the surfaces they touch frequently, using regular household disinfectants or diluted bleach;
  • Avoiding sharing personal items with others living in the same residence;
  • Closing the toilet lid before flushing;
  • Carefully disposing contaminated items that can’t otherwise be cleaned along with other household waste.

Those in self-isolation are advised to get lots of rest and eat a balanced diet. They are to monitor themselves for symptoms and immediately get in touch with their health-care provider or with public-health authorities if those symptoms worsen.

The government’s call for returning travellers to self-isolate was made this weekend, as Ottawa also encouraged Canadians currently abroad to swiftly make arrangements to return home, owing to the prospect of coming flight cancellations.

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters.

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Your subscription helps The Globe and Mail provide readers with critical news at a critical time. Thank you for your continued support. We also hope you will share important coronavirus news articles with your friends and family. In the interest of public health and safety, all our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access.

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