Wednesday, 05 May, 2021


Canada eyes travel restrictions from India due to massive COVID surge

Canada eyes policy on travel from India due to massive outbreak 'Avoid all travel': US issues advisory against India as Covid-19 cases surge
Conrad Doyle | 23 April, 2021, 02:41

MPs unanimously agreed Canada should suspend global flights from countries where COIVD-19 outbreaks are raging just a few hours before the federal government is expected to announce new restrictions on incoming travel.

Prior to this, the US, UK, Hong Kong and New Zealand have banned flights to and from India. Only then can they board their flight to Canada, and they will be required to quarantine in Canada as well.

The rules apply to Canadian citizens and foreign nationals. According to the decision, the period of PCR test is reduced from 72 hours to 48 hours, provided that the tests issued by accredited laboratories bearing the QR Code are accepted. Air passengers must quarantine for the first three days at an approved hotel awaiting a COVID-19 test result, and must test again 10 days after arriving.

The Trudeau government says it is considering new travel restrictions, but has long resisted targeting specific countries, instead focusing on general travel measures like mandatory testing before take off and on arrival, quarantine hotels, and a mandatory two-week quarantine.

Health Canada data shows 112 flights landing in Canada since April 7 have carried at least one passenger who later tested positive for COVID-19, including 32 from Delhi and two from Lahore.

Ned Price, the State Department Spokesperson, told reporters at his daily news conference: "We are tracking the course of the COVID outbreak in India very closely".

Pakistan's government warned this week major cities might be closed if COVID-19 cases there keep growing.

"We will be doing further analysis because it's an emerging situation, not just because of the variant of interest at this point but because they have unfortunately a very massive resurgence in that country", she said.

Canada joins several other governments in clamping down on travel from India.

COVID-19 has undergone several mutations in India and around the world so far.

The announcement by the Ministry of Health came as the entry approvals for non-Singapore citizens and non-permanent residents are being reduced with immediate effect.

The ban means that those with valid residency rights returning to the United Kingdom after the deadline on Friday face the additional financial burden of compulsory hotel quarantine and tests costs, estimated at around 2,000 pounds per person.

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