Friday, March 5, 2021
ADVT 
National

Trudeau leaves door open to tighter travel ban

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 16 Jan, 2021
  • Trudeau leaves door open to tighter travel ban

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is leaving the door open to tighter travel restrictions, including a possible ban on outbound air travel as COVID-19 case counts climb across the country.

“We’re always open to strengthening them as necessary," Trudeau said, referring to measures restricting international flights.

He said the government is keeping a close eye on countries where more easily transmissible strains of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 have broken out.

The prime minister pointed to worrisome mutations in Brazil as well as the United Kingdom, whose outbound flights Canada banned in December.

Those flights have been permitted again after government began requiring incoming air travellers to present proof of recent negative COVID-19 tests before boarding.

“We will continue to look at various variants, various geographies, and make sure we’re taking the right decisions and the right measures to keep Canadians safe," Trudeau said at a press conference at Rideau Hall on Friday.

The choice of whether to bar travel to the United States lies largely with the U.S., not Canada, since the country of arrival has jurisdiction over who enters, he added.

Earlier this month, a survey by Léger and the Association for Canadian Studies found that 87 per cent of respondents said they would support a total ban on international travel until there are several consecutive days of reduced numbers of COVID-19 cases.

Leger vice-president Christian Bourque said that response is consistent with similar questions asked throughout the pandemic, but also reflects a growing desire by Canadians for governments to take stronger action to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Trudeau sought to explain the disparity between stringent lockdown measures such as Ontario's stay-at-home order or Quebec's curfew and the open runway on jetting off to a Caribbean all-inclusive.

“Different jurisdictions will set up the rules that they think are best based on the best advice of their public health officials. On the federal side we have discouraged non-essential international travel, including by imposing mandatory quarantines for anyone returning to Canada and now mandatory testing for anyone before they get on a plane to come back to Canada," he said.

The new curtailments prompted airlines to slash flight schedules over the past week, with Air Canada and WestJet announcing 2,700 layoffs.

Air Transat flight numbers have fallen by more than 90 per cent year over year, the company said.

A ban on non-essential travel would mean a total shutdown, at least for a time, said spokesman Christophe Hennebelle.

"However 'essential travel' is defined, such a ban would probably mean that we would need to stop our operations entirely, unless specific support is granted to help us maintain some form of connectivity," he said in an email.

MORE National ARTICLES

Charges approved in armed stand off: Vancouver Police

Charges approved in armed stand off: Vancouver Police

During a prolonged stand-off, one suspect came out of a suite and was injured by police. He was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Charges approved in armed stand off: Vancouver Police

PM to Freeland: Spend as needed until crisis ends

PM to Freeland: Spend as needed until crisis ends

The detail is contained in updated mandate letters the Prime Minister's Office made public today, months after it reset the parliamentary agenda with a late-September throne speech.

PM to Freeland: Spend as needed until crisis ends

Canada says refugee COVID-19 vaccines offer hope

Canada says refugee COVID-19 vaccines offer hope

Since the pandemic, Canada has committed more than $1 billion to international efforts to buy vaccine doses for low- and middle-income countries.

Canada says refugee COVID-19 vaccines offer hope

Pfizer delaying vaccine deliveries to Canada

Pfizer delaying vaccine deliveries to Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Ottawa was "working day in and day out to get vaccines delivered as quickly as possible" but acknowledged that Pfizer-BioNTech doses have been derailed in the short-term.

Pfizer delaying vaccine deliveries to Canada

B.C. has one case of South African COVID strain

B.C. has one case of South African COVID strain

Dr. Bonnie Henry says the person who contracted the South African variant had not travelled or had contact with anyone who did.

B.C. has one case of South African COVID strain

$2,300.00 fine issued after late night gathering at a business in West Vancouver

$2,300.00 fine issued after late night gathering at a business in West Vancouver

“We all have a responsibility to avoid unnecessary gatherings in order to slow the spread of Covid-19.” The 40-year-old host was issued a $2,300.00 fine for “Contravention of the Gatherings and Events Order.”

$2,300.00 fine issued after late night gathering at a business in West Vancouver

PrevNext