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Canada upgrades entry pandemic prevention measures: suspend some routes and force quarantine testing

Canada upgrades entry pandemic prevention measures: suspend some routes and force quarantine testing

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau. China News Service Photo by MSC/Kuhlmann

January 29th, the Canadian government announced a series of upgraded pandemic prevention measures for cross-border travel, including suspending Canadian airlines’ routes between Mexico and Caribbean countries, and forcing inbound air passengers to be quarantined and tested at their own expense.

The federal government of Canada has reached an agreement with the country’s airlines to suspend all flights to and from Mexico and Caribbean countries from 31 January to 30 April.

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau stressed to the media in Ottawa that this is not the time for people to travel.

He reiterated his call on Canadians to cancel or postpone any non-essential cross-border travel plans.

The Canadian government will soon implement new measures for inbound air passengers traveling across the border for “non-essential” reasons, requiring them to be tested for COVID-19 molecules when arriving in Canada and quarantined in officially approved hotels for three nights to wait for the test results.

Passengers shall bear the expenses of testing, accommodation, cleaning and safety. The Canadian government will release the specific details of this measure in the near future. Trudeau said that each person’s fee may exceed 2,000 Canadian dollars.

At the same time, inbound passengers still need to complete 14-day isolation. To this end, the Canadian Public Health Department will cooperate with security companies to carry out visits to the isolation of inbound passengers.

Violators may be reprimanded, warned or even prosecuted. If convicted of violating the law, they can be punished by up to half a year’ imprisonment and a fine of 750,000 Canadian dollars. The Canadian Department of Public Health now visits the quarantine of more than 6,500 travelers by telephone every day.

As of January 26, law enforcement has carried out nearly 49,000 interventions, of which 99% of the results are that travelers have complied with regulations, but a few people have been warned, fined or prosecuted.

The provincial government of Ontario, Canada’s largest populous province, has said that it will conduct mandatory testing for international passengers entering Toronto Pearson International Airport from February 1.

In addition, plus the official requirement, from midnight on February 3, regular international commercial passenger flights, private, commercial or chartered flights from all countries, must be concentrated at Montreal Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport and Vancouver International Airport.

The exemption previously enjoyed for scheduled commercial passenger flights from the United States, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and South America was cancelled this time, but flights and cargo flights from the French Saint Pierre and Miquelon Islands are still not subject to this restriction.

On January 14th, local time, a merchant temporarily declined customers in downtown Toronto, Canada, provided customers with appointment pickup service.

Ontario, the most populous province in Canada, where Toronto is located, has implemented a “stay-at-home order” since that day. Photo by Yu Ruidong, reporter of China News Service

The Canadian government said that it would also implement the requirement of molecular virus testing within 72 hours before arrival for passengers seeking to enter by land, and would continue to cooperate with the United States to strengthen border pandemic prevention measures.

Canada has required all travelers to be tested for COVID-19 in principle and certified negative before departing for Canada, starting on January 7.

As of the evening of January 29, Canada had reported nearly 7708 thousand cases, nearly 695,700 recovered, 19801 deaths and 55,313 active cases. The country has now reported nearly 100 cases of mutant COVID-19, about half of which are in Ontario.

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