Most inbound travelers will be required to quarantine in government-approved hotels at their own expense, and flights to the sunny Caribbean and Mexico will be suspended until April.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued this announcement as his government responds to new and disturbing changes that have been identified in several provinces.
“As soon as possible in the coming weeks, we will introduce a mandatory PCR test at the airport for people returning to Canada. Passengers will then have to wait for up to three days at a government-approved hotel to get their test results.” Trudeau said during a press conference in Ottawa. .
He said those who had negative results would be quarantined at home “under extremely tight supervision and enforcement.” “Those who have tested positive will be immediately asked to quarantine at certain government facilities to ensure they do not carry potentially worrisome variables.”
These measures escalate the current mandatory 14-day quarantine for most travelers.
The suspension of flights on Canadian airlines to the Caribbean and Mexico begins on Sunday and is set to continue until at least April.
The new rules mean higher discretionary travel costs
The new rules and testing system will apply to all non-exempt travelers arriving from air, land and sea borders, regardless of nationality or residency status. Those with exceptions include essential workers including truck drivers, airline crews, and health care workers.
Martin Firestone, an Ontario travel insurance consultant, said clients began contacting him as soon as the government made the announcement on Friday despite Trudeau warning for days that new travel restrictions would be announced.
He says the new measures will make it difficult and costly for most Canadians to travel for vacation or other discretionary purposes.
Government officials say most travelers can expect to pay around $ 1,500 per traveler for the new hotel quarantine, for stays of around three days. Some of these costs are related to testing and monitoring.
“There are health measures, security measures, testing procedures and transportation procedures, all of which do not believe that Canadian taxpayers should be in trouble to pay any part of the cost of selection and the decision made by some individuals to participate in the Canadian Public Safety Minister Bill Blair during a press conference on Friday,” Unnecessary and discretionary. ”
Officials are still working to close the US “gap”
Blair added that there were ongoing discussions with the Biden administration on a number of measures to curb unnecessary travel between the United States and Canada.
He reiterated that the United States had a “loophole” allowing unnecessary air travel from Canada to the United States.
The government also announced the strengthening of surveillance for those travelers who have tested negative, and then they are allowed to continue quarantine for 14 days at home.
“There will be more security contractors who will do more, I would say, ‘knock on the door’ to check people in quarantine,” said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health official, adding that contractors will start in 35 cities. Canadian and will expand further in the coming weeks.
As of March 22, 2020, the day border restrictions were first imposed between the United States and Canada, as of this week, more than 30,000 travelers from the United States have been denied entry.
According to the CBSA, most of them said they want to enter Canada for tourism, entertainment, or non-essential shopping.