Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie are in self-isolation after she came down with flu-like symptoms and was tested for the new coronavirus, according to an official statement on Thursday.

The 48-year-old Liberal leader is exhibiting no symptoms and will continue to work from home until the results of his wife’s test comes in, the statement said. However, face-to-face meetings with provincial premiers scheduled for Thursday and Friday will instead be held by phone.

‘Having recently returned from a speaking engagement in London, UK, the Prime Minister’s wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau began exhibiting mild flu-like symptoms including a low fever late last night,’ the statement from the prime minister’s office read.

‘She immediately sought medical advice, and is being tested for the COVID-19 virus. She is self-isolating at home awaiting test results, and her symptoms have since subsided.’

The statement does not mention whether their three children are staying home as well.

Canada has just over 100 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, more than double the number from a week ago. With Manitoba and New Brunswick reporting their first presumptive cases in the past 24 hours, six of Canada’s 10 provinces have recorded COVID-19 contagion.

What does self-isolation mean?

Self-isolation means staying indoors and avoiding all contact with other people for 14 days, according to the NHS.

It means no going to work, school, the shops or even to the park for some fresh air, in order to minimise the risk of passing on Covid-19.

Public transport and taxis are a no-no and you shouldn’t have visitors over, even if you just stay at home.

Anyone in self-isolation is advised to ask friends, family and delivery drivers to pick things up for you and drop them-off. You should put a sign outside telling people you are self-isolating and everything should be left on the floor outside your front door to avoid the risk of further infections.

You should leave a sign outside your property if you have to self-isolate (Picture: PA)

Those who are self-isolating are still advised to stay away from their pets as much as possible and to wash their hands before and after touching them.

If you live in a house share and have to self-isolate, the advise is to stay in your room with the door closed and only emerge to use communal kitchens, bathrooms and living areas if absolutely necessary.

Who should self-isolate?

The government advises anyone returning from Category one areas (Hubei, Iran, Italy and Daegu or Cheongdo in South Korea), to go straight home and self-isolate, even if they don’t display any symptoms.

Travellers should use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next.

Anyone returning from Category 2 areas should self-isolate and call 111 if they do have Covid-19 symptoms. You can find the list of those places here.

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