Quebec Liberal member Pierre Arcand has been told to return to the country from Barbados, where he is currently vacationing despite repeated pleas from the federal and provincial governments for people to avoid non-essential travel amid the COVID-19 health crisis.
Dominique Anglade, the leader of the party, has asked Arcand to come home as soon as possible. Léa Carrière, a spokesperson for Anglade, confirmed the move to Global News on Wednesday.
The former interim leader of the party issued a statement Tuesday night, saying he “regretted” his decision to take a trip down south with his wife amid the pandemic but stressed he took all necessary precautions.
Arcand, who represents the Mont-Royal–Outremont riding in Montreal, said he took two COVID-19 tests, on Dec. 22 and Dec. 27. They were both negative.
He also pledged to “scrupulously” respect the 14-day self-isolation period required by the federal government for travellers who return to the country from abroad.
The apology came after the trip was brought to light Tuesday afternoon, when Radio-Canada first reported Arcand was spotted on the island by a witness.
Canadians have been asked to avoid non-essential international travel as the novel coronavirus pandemic rages on. Premier François Legault has also asked Quebecers to stay home as numbers rise.
Quebec, which has been hard hit by the health crisis, is currently under lockdown until at least Jan.11, 2021 to stem the tide of the virus. All non-essential businesses are closed have been closed since Christmas Day.
Anglade’s request for Arcand to return home comes as the province set a new record Wednesday. Health authorities reported 2,511 new coronavirus cases — the highest single-day tally to date.
—With files from The Canadian Press
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