Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced a series of new travel restrictions to halt the spread of COVID-19, specifically the highly transmissible variants, in the country. This includes mandatory COVID-19 testing on arrival and hotel isolation for international travellers. Incoming international flights will only land at Canada’s 4 main airports in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver where testing facilities will be set up. All flights to Mexico and the Caribbean have also been stopped until April 30.
As per the new measures, international travellers coming into Canada will be forced to stay at an approved hotel for at least 3 days while waiting for the results of a PCR COVID-19 test done at the point of entry. This would cost around $2,000, the prime minister said adding that the charges would be paid for by the traveller. A negative test would allow the traveller to go home or other final destination for the rest of the 14-day quarantine period, under enhanced supervision.
Should the traveller test positive for COVID-19, they will be moved to a government facility for the rest of 14-day period. When asked if this would mean an additional cost, Trudeau was unclear and said he didn’t think so.
All incoming essential travellers at Canada’s land borders with the United States will also soon have to present a negative result from a PCR test before being allowed entry.
Canada is also putting the brakes on travel to Mexico and Caribbean countries and 4 airlines are cooperating with the government. Effective Sunday Air Canada, WestJet, Air Transat and Sunwing will halt flights to and from Mexico and the Caribbean countries until April 30 atleast. The airlines will be informing passengers who are out of the country about the service chances.
Now is not the time to be flying, said PM Trudeau. “We can look forward to a better time when we can all plan those vacations.”
More restrictions are likely to be announced in the coming days.