Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is telling Canadians there is no chance they can celebrate Christmas normally because of the coronavirus pandemic.
At a press conference Friday, Trudeau told Canadians that gathering with others is extremely risky right now, warning that even special occasions like Christmas cannot occur like it did last year.
“If you were planning to see friends this weekend – maybe don’t. If there was a birthday party or a gathering for dinner you were thinking about doing, don’t do it,” he said.
“A normal Christmas is, quite frankly, out of the question.”
On Friday, Ontario announced 1,418 new cases and Quebec announced 1,259. The total number of cases in Canada has been gradually increasing since September.
The prime minister appeared visibly flustered as he told Canadians to do more to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Trudeau warns that there will be grim results for Canadians if cases continue to rise.
“We are facing [a] winter that’s going to drive people inside more and more, and we’re really at risk of seeing caseloads go up, and hospitals get overwhelmed, and more loved ones dying,” he said.
“So we need to do everything we can right now to slow the spread of COVID-19, to stop the spike in its tracks.”
Last week, Trudeau warned that Canadians may not be able to celebrate Christmas in-person if the total number of cases continues to grow. By Friday, Trudeau appears to have abandoned the possibility of in-person festivities.
Trudeau reassured Canadians by saying that he is not recommending a nation-wide lockdown like in the spring.
“We’re in a moment right now where even with all the sacrifices I know Canadians have been making over these past 10 months, we are now going to have to really tighten up once again.”