Justin Trudeau – Health minister ‘disappointed’ that SHA board member in California since November
A Saskatchewan Health Authority board member has been in California since mid-November, according the authority, and the province’s health minister is disheartened by the news.
Findings that board member Judy Davis had travelled to the United States during the pandemic were first reported by CJME.
In a statement to CBC, Saskatchewan Minister of Health Paul Merriman said that all Saskatchewan residents are encouraged to follow public health orders and recommendations, including strong recommendations against unnecessary travel outside of the province.
“As minister of health, I am disappointed that a member of the SHA board has not followed this recommendation,” said Merriman.
The minister says the interim chair of the SHA’s board is addressing the issue with Davis directly.
Davis retired from the Hospitals of Regina Foundation as President and CEO in 2014. She also served as a member of the former Regina Qu’Appelle Regional Health Authority from 2014 to 2017.
The SHA said in a statement that Davis departed for the U.S. prior to more recent escalations in federal travel restrictions.
“Davis has indicated that she has no plans to return to Saskatchewan in the immediate weeks ahead and will only do so once it is safer to travel home,” read the statement.
“Davis is abiding by all relevant public health restrictions while in the United States, and has indicated she will abide by all Canadian travel restrictions when it is determined to be safer to return to Saskatchewan later this year.”
It is not yet known to the public where in California Davis is staying.
Air travel restrictions
News of Davis’ trip to California comes after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau placed heavier restrictions on air travel.
Starting at 11:59 p.m. ET on Feb. 3, all international passenger, private and charter flights — including from the U.S. — will land at the Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal airports. That means Davis would not be able to fly into Regina from her current location.
The prime minister said the government will soon be introducing mandatory PCR testing at the airport for people returning to Canada “as soon as possible in the coming weeks.” That’s on top of the pre-boarding test already required.
Travellers will then have to wait up to three days at a government-approved hotel for their test results. This would be at their own expense, which Trudeau said is expected to be more than $2,000.
Transport Canada said there will be “very limited exceptions.”
Those with a negative test will then be able to finish their 14-day quarantine at home, with increased surveillance.
Trudeau also said that, in the coming weeks, Canada will begin requiring non-essential travellers to show a negative test before entry at the land border with the U.S.