Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday announced stricter restrictions on travellers in response to new, likely more contagious variants of the novel coronavirus, including suspending airline service to Mexico and all Caribbean destinations until April 30.
Trudeau has also made it mandatory for travellers to quarantine in a hotel at their own expense when they arrive in Canada.
Trudeau said in addition to the pre-boarding test Canada already requires, the government will be introducing mandatory PCR testing at the airport for people returning to Canada.
“Travellers will then have to wait for up to three days at an approved hotel for their test results, at their own expense, which is expected to be more than $2000,” Trudeau said.
“Those with negative test results will then be able to quarantine at home under significantly increased surveillance and enforcement.”
The prime minister said those with positive tests will be immediately required to quarantine in designated government facilities to make sure they’re not carrying variants of particular concern.
Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing, and Air Transat are cancelling air service to all Caribbean destinations and Mexico starting Sunday until April 30.
“They will be making arrangements with their customers who are currently on a trip in these regions to organise their return flights,” Trudeau said.
He said starting next week, all international passenger flights must land at the following four airports: Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal.
Canada already requires those entering the country to self-isolate for 14 days and to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days before arrival.