CALGARY — With COVID-19 cases, particularly variants, increasing in some areas of Canada, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health is strongly advising against any travel plans outside the province for the upcoming Spring Break.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw made the comments during her media briefing on Wednesday, saying that unnecessary travel increases the risk of spreading the virus.
However, if Albertans cannot deny themselves the pleasure, she insists that everyone follow some simple guidelines.
“I would recommend that that travel be just with their household cohort or an individual with their two close contacts,” she said.
Hinshaw also recommended against staying with friends in their home, as that sort of behaviour lends itself to conducting indoor gatherings – something that is still prohibited by Alberta’s COVID-19 public health orders.
“Individuals who are wanting to do something for Spring Break, I would recommend staying relatively close to home, doing something with households or perhaps outdoor social gatherings where that distancing can be maintained.”
She also cautioned that while vaccines are available, we’re still far from the point where immunization will curtail severe outcomes connected to COVID-19.
“For the next couple of months – including Spring Break – we need to just hold on and protect our communities with our choices.”
According to the government of Alberta’s website, all non-essential travel outside Canada should be avoided until further notice.
The Canada-U.S. border is also closed to all non-essential travellers.
There are and have been no formal restrictions against travel outside of Alberta for the entirety of the pandemic so far, but officials say those individuals must follow all public health guidelines in place at their destination.
Inside Alberta, the government says you must follow physical distancing and gathering restrictions, take all precautions to protect yourself and others from infection and download the ABTraceTogether app.