CANADA CONTINUES TO FURTHER RESTICTIONS IN ORDER TO CONTROL THE EXPANSION OF COVID-19
The Canadian government is still wary of another possible wave of COVID-19 following the February and March holidays. Some of the current measures to enter or leave the country include air restrictions to the most demanded destinations for Canadians, increasing the control at the border between the United States and Canada, and keep suspended cruise ships.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said all the measures aimed at helping prevent new variants of COVID-19 from entering the country, adding that no one wants a third wave to start. The new restrictions will be applied at all accesses to the country air, land, and sea. All these new government measures seek to prevent Canadians from traveling abroad during February and Spring break.
Four of Canada’s major airlines have suspended their services to Mexico and the Caribbean. Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing and, Air Transat have agreed to the measures and will help customers to return home. The restriction will last until April 30. For its part, Air Canada announced that 17 flight routes to the United States andabroad will be suspended from February 18 to at least April 30.
As February 22, new regulations have come into effect for travelers who cross from the United States to Canada at land border points . With exceptions for essential travelers, individuals entering the country will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test performed in the US within 72 hours. Also, air travelers will be forced to spend a mandatory three-day quarantine in a hotel, at their own expense, and undergo multiple COVID-19 tests.
After closing the last year, Canada once again extended its cruise ban over maritime accesses delaying the possibility of large passenger ships navigating Canadian waters for another year. No cruise ships will be able to sail in Canada untilMarch 1, 2022.
The government announced that cruises in Canadian waters pose a risk to health care systems and will continue to assess the situation and make necessary changesto ensure the health and safety of Canadians. “Today I announced a one-year ban on pleasure boats in Canadian Arctic waters and cruise ships in all Canadian waters,these bans will protect the most vulnerable in our communities and prevent our healthcare systems from being overloaded.” Canadian Transportation Minister OmarAlghabra wrote on Twitter.
Cancellation of Canada / New England and Alaska cruises, and ships carrying more than 100 people, will be canceled until February 28, 2022, resulting in a major disruption to some cruise destinations and an important loss of jobs.
Expedition cruises to the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence and, the Canadian Arctic are also affected. Passenger ships carrying more than 12 people are prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters, including the Coast of Labrador, Nunatsiavut, and Nunavik. The Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, issued the new guidance to keep the safety and health of Canadians and transport workers as top priorities. Thelifting of the cruise ban was scheduled for March 1, after the May and October extensions.
In October, shortly after Canada ordered an extension of its ban, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ended its eight-month “no-sail” order, replacing it with its “Conditional Navigation Order Framework .”