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Trudeau warns of further restrictions if Canadians don't stay home

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the Canadian people outside of Rideau Cottage in Ottawa where he has been quarantined since March 12. Photo courtesy of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the Canadian people outside of Rideau Cottage in Ottawa where he has been quarantined since March 12. Photo courtesy of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

March 23 (UPI) -- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a stern warning to his citizens on Monday to stay home amid the coronavirus pandemic or stricter measures will be put in place to ensure they do.

Trudeau, who has been in isolation in his Ottawa home since March 12 after his wife, Sophie Trudeau, tested positive for COVID-19, told Canadians that if they do not stay home they will be endangering their communities.

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"Enough is enough. Go home and stay home," he said in the uncommonly stern message. "This is what we all need to be doing."

If they do not, he added, the government will "enforce the rules."

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"Nothing that could help is off the table," he said.

Trudeau has so far been reluctant to issue a state of national emergency as health officials have urged people to stay home and bars and restaurants have been ordered to close.

The prime minister said that despite the restrictions being put in place to save lives, people have been flouting them.

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"We've all seen the pictures online of people who seem to think they're invincible," he said. "Well, you're not."

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The message came as Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said Canada must slow community spread of the virus through "unrelenting social distancing."

The coronavirus has infected 1,474 people in Canada and caused 20 deaths, she said, adding Yukon has reported its first two cases, both linked to travel.

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However, Canada is seeing more cases of community spread, she said, and they are seeking to delay and flatten the epidemic curve to buy time for research and innovation.

"Everyone who is practicing self-isolation is giving a chance for researchers around the world to develop novel solutions," she said.

On Sunday, Canada became the first country to pull out of the Olympic this summer.

The message followed British Prime Minster Boris Johnson issuing a sweeping stay-at-home order for the entire nation, limiting people to their homes for at least three weeks.

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