At a government pandemic briefing on May 21, Canada’s transport minister, Omar Alghabra, confirmed the news. “Since this restriction was put in place, we’ve seen a significant reduction in the number of positive cases of COVID-19 arriving from international flights,” Alghabra said.
- Flights between Canada and India and Pakistan will be prohibited until at least June 21.
- The travel ban on all direct passenger and business flights from India and Pakistan has been extended by Canada for another 30 days, until June 21, 2021.
- The travel ban was implemented on April 22nd for a period of 30 days, ending on May 22nd.
- Vaccines and protective equipment will continue to be transported by cargo flights into Canada.
- It’s possible that passengers will still be able to travel to Canada. They’ll have to do so in a roundabout way, requiring a COVID-19 test at their last point of departure.
- Last week, Air Canada extended the flight ban to India, anticipating a government announcement. Pakistan is not served by the airline.
Canada is concerned about a possible variant
Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, emphasised the importance of the travel restrictions, stating that about 70% of new COVID-19 cases are variants of concern.
“It’s critical to have these safeguards in place, and we understand that, though variation importation is a minor fraction of what’s going on in Canada, whatever we can do in terms of adding that extra layer is critical at this time,” Njoo said.
B.188.8.131.52 is the name of the Indian variation. 279 passengers tested positive for this new variant between February 22 and May 6. Within Canada, there may also be community transmission. According to data from the Public Health Agency of Canada, this is the case (PHAC).
This variation has enhanced transmissibility, according to Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s senior public health officer.
On 24th May 2021, India reached the 300,000-death mark as a result of COVID-19. This is the world’s third greatest death toll. In addition, the government reported 222,315 additional COVID-19 cases, increasing the total number of cases to over 27 million since the epidemic began. After the United States, this is the second-highest.
Furthermore, a rare but lethal fungal infection has begun to afflict COVID-19 patients in India, which has physicians concerned.
What should travellers be aware of?
International visitors arriving in Canada must provide documentation of a COVID-19 exam. The examination must be completed within 72 hours after arriving in Canada, whether by air or by land. Air travellers must additionally take another exam once they arrive in Canada.
Those coming from India or Pakistan must have completed the COVID-19 test in a third nation.
After that, air travellers must quarantine for three days at a government-approved hotel while they await their findings. They must maintain their 14-day quarantine even after they have been cleared. The three-day hotel stay is included in the required 14-day stay.
Travelers who are compassionate may seek to be freed from quarantine early in order to attend a funeral or care for a loved one.