A ground worker wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 unloads lobsters from a WestJet Airlines flight at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, January 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Trudeau teases stricter travel measures; Canadians flying to U.S. now need COVID test

Prime minister says measures need to not hurt imports and essential trade

Canada’s prime minister said measures to bring in stricter travel restrictions will be announced “in the coming days.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement at a press conference Tuesday (Jan. 26) morning. He quickly had to defend it from reporters’ queries as to why restrictions were being foreshadowed but not brought in, even as provinces including Ontario and B.C. have called for stricter rules.

“Canada has some of the strictest travel and border restrictions in the world,” Trudeau said.

Canada has banned all non-essential border crossings from the U.S., and all non-essential travel from the rest of the world since last March, except for returning Canadians. A mandatory two-week quarantine requirement was also announced in late March, Earlier this month, Canada began requiring a negative test within 72 hours of boarding a flight to Canada.

Trudeau also cited other countries like the U.S., who as of Tuesday have adopted a requirement for a negative COVID-19 test before flying into the country.

“The rate of importation of viruses is extraordinarily low. The vast majority of our cases in Canada come from community transmission,” Trudeau said.

“But obviously even one cases is too many for importation and we are looking into even further restrictions on travel.”

The prime minister said that the delay regarding new travel restrictions was based on a need to ensure that they didn’t affect essential trade and imports.

There have been at least 753,011 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 19,238 deaths in Canada as of Tuesday morning.

READ MORE: Justin Trudeau mulls mandatory hotel quarantine for returning travellers

READ MORE: Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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