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COVID-19 and Travel | Week of April 20, 2020

COVID-19 and Travel | Week of April 20, 2020

In the midst of a coronavirus pandemic that can cause a serious illness called COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019), many Canadians are still abroad. You were the first people we thought of when we came up with the idea for this weekly newsletter. Here are a few tips and resources to help you in your particular situation.

  • If you haven’t already done so, register as a Canadian abroad: https: // On this site, you will also find a list of Canadian embassies and consulates by destination.
  • Are the antibiotics I brought on my trip effective in preventing and treating infection by the new coronavirus? No, no antibiotics work against viruses, including the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Their only indication would be in cases of secondary pneumonia (bacterial co-infection) when Covid-19 is severe. In fact, no specific drug has yet been clearly identified for the treatment or prevention of this disease.
  • If I’ve had a pneumococcal vaccine (Prevnar-13 or Pneumovax), am I less at risk? No (and a little, yes). These vaccines do not provide protection against the new coronavirus. However, vaccination against respiratory diseases is strongly recommended to protect your health. This vaccination could protect you against bacterial co-infection in the event of serious illness.
  • Is there a vaccine against coronavirus? Not yet. Fast-track research is currently underway, but it will certainly be at least another 12 months before the first vaccine comes to market. More details in a forthcoming Covid-19 and Travel.
  • So what can I do to protect myself? Get informed… and wash your hands frequently. During your trip :
    • Avoid crowds and crowded places. Keep your distance from others on errands and activities.
    • Avoid contact with sick people.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Long, hard work. If water is not available, use an alcohol-based disinfectant.
    • Observe the rules of hygiene when coughing or sneezing.
    • Monitor your state of health (fever, cough or difficulty breathing).
  • What can I do to protect others when I return? Respect strict quarantine rules (14 days). The Canadian government has set up a emergency decree under the Quarantine Act, which applies to all travellers entering Canada You do not need to go to the grocery store or any other retail outlet. Use delivery services or ask a porch to stock your home just before you return. You can find all the information you need at:
  • When is a person contagious? Contagion is possible BEFORE the onset of symptoms. That’s why you have to stay in quarantine. This period starts 1-2 days before symptoms appear and can continue for up to 2 weeks after onset. The average is 7 to 12 days.