What are Canada’s latest travel restrictions for COVID-19?

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Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has revealed a new set of restrictions to deal with the new, more infectious variant of COVID-19. “COVID-19 new variant poses a real challenge. That’s why further actions need to be taken,” Prime Minister said at a press conference.

With these new restrictions, the government is trying to minimize the effect of the virus before the next holiday season.

To make COVID PCR testing mandatory and suspension of flight to popular destinations, Trudeau has announced serious restrictions to tackle the spread of the pandemic.

Prime Minister Trudeau announces new coronavirus restrictions

“Under increased surveillance and enforcement, people have to home quarantine even if they have tested negative for the virus,” he added. But those who test positive will need to be quarantined at a designated government facility to ensure they do not carry “variants of potential concern.”

Canadian are urged by the Prime Minister to avoid non-essential travel. Trudeau said non-essential travelers will soon have to take a negative Covid-19 test before entering the land border with the United States.

Non-essential travel to Canada by foreign tourists has been banned since the country began reporting coronavirus cases in March of last year. Previously, anyone entering the country on essential travel had to go through a mandatory two-week self-quarantine period. Travelers were required to provide a negative Covid-19 test, taken within three days of their time of departure, before boarding a flight to Canada.

What are the reasons for new restrictions?

Trudeau’s recent announcement follows weeks of fury in provinces across Canada, where local officials urged the Prime Minister and his administration to introduce tougher travel regulations to contain the spread of the deadly virus.

According to the latest statistics from the Canada Border Services Agency, more than 6.3 million travelers who have entered the country since the start of the pandemic have not had to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine, reported Global News. The figure includes truck drivers and others involved in cross-border freight transport. A number of these workers travel to and from the United States – the world’s most affected country – regularly.

Only 2% of coronavirus cases in Canada are because of travelers coming to Canada, giving us solid proof of how successful are Canada’s strict restrictions.

Types of travel permitted to move to Canada

Although tourism has not been permitted since the very beginning of the pandemic, visitors are permitted to travel to Canada for “family reunification” in some cases. Most authorized trips are reserved exclusively for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Foreign nationals will only be allowed entry if they are protected workers, asylum seekers, or have requested to travel to the country for other compassionate reasons.

Although healthcare workers have strongly advised against non-essential interprovincial travel, residents are permitted to visit most Canadian provinces except the Atlantic provinces and the Arctic territories. Canada’s Atlantic region has banned the entry of people from outside of the region, unless they are moving due to some essential reasons, such as work or school.

Canada has over 7.74 lac coronavirus cases with 2.2 lac deaths.

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