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Garneau to quarantine in hotel after returning from G7 ministers' meeting in U.K.


OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau will stay in a quarantine hotel for three days starting Wednesday after returning from the United Kingdom where he's attending the first in-person meeting of G7 foreign and development ministers in over two years.

Garneau's spokeswoman Syrine Khoury said he will abide by the same rules that every Canadian has to follow after travelling outside the country, including doing PCR COVID-19 tests before and after boarding his flight to Canada and staying in a government-approved hotel for three days.

"There's no special treatment for Minister Garneau. He will pass through the same process as every Canadian," she said.

Khoury said Garneau travelled to the U.K. with his director of communications Ricky Landry, and they both will do a total of seven COVID-19 tests during their trip including daily rapid tests while attending the G7 meetings. 

She said the U.K. government decided to allow ministers participating in the G7 meetings and their staffers into the U.K. without staying in quarantine. 

"The accredited people coming for the G7 don't have to do a quarantine," she said.

Garneau received his first shot of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on March 15.

U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is hosting the G7 foreign and development ministers' meeting in central London, where participants will follow strict COVID-19 measures, including daily testing and social distancing.

International Development Minister Karina Gould's office said she didn't travel to London because the U.K. government decided that she should participate virtually.

Garneau's department announced last month that he would attend the G7 meetings in person. 

The department said G7 ministers will look to align efforts on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring equitable access to vaccines. 

It said they will also discuss battling climate change, enhancing food security and advancing girls' education. 

The ministers are also looking into threats to human rights and democracy and regional security concerns in many countries, including China, Russia, Myanmar, Libya, Syria, North Korea and Iran.

Garneau will also attend the 12th ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council on May 19-20 in Reykjavic, Iceland, the department said.

The meeting will be attended by the foreign ministers of the eight Arctic states as well as six circumpolar Arctic Indigenous organizations, including three Canadian groups.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 3, 2021.


This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press

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