Embassy advises Vietnamese in Canada to avoid non-essential outbound trips hinh anh 1An empty street in Vancouver, Canada, amid the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Ottawa (VNA) – The Embassy of Vietnam in Canada has asked Vietnamese citizens living here to avoid non-essential travel from home, particularly outside Canada or between parts of the country, as the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues spreading.

The embassy advised Vietnamese people to only travel if the situation is urgent and to rigorously comply with regulations and instructions set by the local government, it said in a statement released on March 22.

On the same day, Canadian Health Minister Patty Hajdu said the government of Canada will use tough enforcement measures, which include the threat of prison and massive fines, if people don’t take self-quarantine and practice social distancing as required.

Over the weekend, local social media displayed images of people gathering on beaches and in parks and restaurants despite the fact that all provinces and territories have declared states of emergency or public health emergency to slow the spread of the virus.

However, the federal government’s approach is to call on people to voluntarily adhere to the rules which include a 14-day self-quarantine for those returning from abroad.

As of 6pm on March 22, Canada reported 1,430 confirmed cases, with 20 fatalities./.