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'In-person' G7 more effective, but deal with safety concerns first, Trudeau says

Last Updated May 27, 2020 at 12:08 pm EDT

WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says an in-person gathering of G7 leaders would be more effective than the virtual alternative, but he wants to make sure the United States has a plan to deal with the potential COVID-19 risk first.

President Donald Trump and his White House officials have been talking in recent days about resuming plans to reconvene the G7 in or near Washington sometime next month.

Trudeau says there are multiple health and safety issues to be tackled first, such as whether leaders would have to quarantine upon returning home, which is the current requirement in Canada.

But he admits that ideally, an in-person meeting would be more productive than the virtual teleconference calls that have been taking place daily around the world as people work through the COVID-19 pandemic from home.

Trudeau himself has been working mainly from his home at Rideau Cottage for nearly three months, ever since his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau tested positive for the novel coronavirus back in March.

His U.S. counterpart, meanwhile, has been aggressively urging states to allow people to get back to work, and wants to proceed with an in-person G7 sometime next month to signal his country is ready to get back to business.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 27, 2020.

The Canadian Press