Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Friday, Jan. 29, announced new measures against covid-19, including the suspension of Canadian flights to all Caribbean destinations and Mexico.
“With the challenges we currently face with covid-19, both here at home and abroad, we all agree that now is just not the time to be flying,” Trudeau said at a press conference in Ottawa.
“By putting in place these tough measures now, we can look forward to a better time.”
Trudeau said Canada’s main airlines, including Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing and Air Transat, will cancel their air services to Mexico and all Caribbean destinations, starting Sunday, Jan. 31, until April 30 this year.
Trudeau also outlined a new mandatory covid-19 testing requirement at Canadian airports for inbound people.
They are now obliged to quarantine for three days at a designated hotel on their own expense, which he said is “expected to be more than 2,000 Canadian dollars,” about $1,500 or 30,000 pesos.
“Those with negative test results will then be able to quarantine at home under significantly increased surveillance and enforcement,” Trudeau said.
“Those with positive tests will be immediately required to quarantine in designated government facilities to make sure they’re not carrying variants of potential concern.”
Trudeau also stressed that non-essential travelers will have to show a negative test at land borders too.
“We will also, in the coming weeks, be requiring non-essential travelers to show a negative test before entry at the land border with the United States, and we are working to stand up additional testing requirements for land travel.”
The new measures are designed to discourage Canadians from taking non-essential trips outside of the country as many Canadians reportedly have been escaping the chilly winter with vacations to sunny destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico.
Canada has had a ban on non-essential travel into the country by anyone who isn’t a citizen or permanent resident since last March.
More than 6.3 million people who have reportedly entered Canada since last March were not required to quarantine.
The Trudeau government began beefing up anti-covid-19 measures in January, requiring proof of a negative covid-19 test, taken within 72 hours of departure time, before anyone is allowed to board a flight to Canada.
The Mexican government immediately issued a request to Canada to reconsider the new regulations, noting that it will have a dramatic effect on the nation’s already-moribund tourism industry.
Sectur issued a statement warning that the new Canadian covid measures could represent a loss of $782 million for Mexico.
As of Friday afternoon, Canada had reported a cumulative total of 769,408 covid-19 cases, including 19,775 deaths and 694,201 recoveries, according to CTV.
…Feb. 1, 2021