Canada’s prime minister and premiers have issued a statement on a shared public health approach to restarting the economy.
The First Ministers have agreed that decisions should be informed by the following criteria and measures:
Covid-19 transmission is controlled – The incidence of new cases should be maintained at a level that health care systems can manage, with substantial clinical care capacity in reserve.
Sufficient public health capacity is in place to test, trace, and isolate all cases – Testing and contact tracing are in place so that suspected cases are detected quickly and all confirmed cases are effectively isolated, while all close contacts are traced, quarantined, and monitored.
Expanded health care capacity exists for all patients, Covid-19 and non Covid-19 – Health care systems should support all needs, including dealing with any future outbreaks, recognizing that this will be achieved through having surge capacity in place and other means (e.g. virtual care) to enable the system support for all patients.
Supports are in place for vulnerable groups/communities and key populations – Sustained measures are in place to protect seniors, residents of group living facilities, workers in close quarters, inmates, homeless people, and Indigenous people and those living in remote locations, along with health care workers and other essential workers.
Workplace preventative measures – Support and monitoring of workplace protocols are in place to prevent the introduction and spread of Covid-19. These protocols could include administrative controls, hand hygiene, environmental cleaning, and access to personal protective equipment where physical distancing is not possible.
Avoiding risk of importation – Restrictions on non-essential domestic travel should be eased and managed in a coordinated manner. Re-opening of international borders and access for non-Canadian residents may only happen in later stages, taking into account the spread of the virus outside Canada, and measures to avoid the spread of the virus for everyone entering the country (e.g., self-isolation, testing).
Engage and support – The success of managing Covid-19 will depend on the ability of communities to use and keep the necessary measures, particularly for public services. Governments will support communities in managing local disease activity, including in child care, schools, and public transportation. Governments will also work with industry and economic sectors to support optimal health, reduced viral activity, and protection of the economy as it restarts.
First Ministers will continue to meet regularly to discuss measures taken to restart the Canadian economy in a gradual way while protecting the health of Canadians.