Ottawa

Limit interprovincial trips, mayors plead

The mayors of Ottawa and Gatineau are asking residents of both cities to cross the Ottawa River only when absolutely necessary.

Mayors of Ottawa, Gatineau urging residents to avoid cross-border travel

Light rush hour traffic crosses the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge between Gatineau, Que., and Ottawa on Monday, March 16, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

The mayors of Ottawa and Gatineau are asking residents of both cities to cross the Ottawa River only when absolutely necessary.

In a joint news release, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin warned needless interprovincial trips risk counteracting ongoing efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus.

"This is not the time to go back and forth between your home and your cabin, this is not the time to shop far from where you live, this is not the time to go to parks that aren't close to you," Pedneaud-Jobin said.

"Each trip could include stops at places such as gas stations or grocery stores, which multiplies the risks."

Health officials across the country have called for social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19, particularly because the respiratory illness may be passed on by people who aren't showing symptoms and don't know they're infected.

That means staying home whenever possible, limiting trips to the store and staying two metres away from others when you go out for a walk.

Strict controls are already in place at the Canada-U.S. border, at Nova Scotia's borders and on some First Nations communities.

On Monday, the National Capital Commission closed Gatineau Park, a popular destination for visitors from Ottawa.

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