As Canada sees an increase in COVID-19 cases involving new variants, the federal government announced on April 22 that it would introduce stricter travel restrictions to stop the potential spread and protect Canadians.
A ban on cargo and passenger flights from Pakistan and India from 11:30 p.m EST April 22, 2021, for 30 days. However, cargo flights with protective equipment and carrying vaccines will continue to be allowed to enter Canada.
Those traveling to Canada from India or Pakistan via an indirect route will need to get a negative COVID-19 test from their last point of departure, according to Omar Alghabra, Canada's Minister of Transportation.
According to the federal government, 35 flights have arrived in Canada with at least one case of COVID-19, in the past two weeks.
This is not the first time that Canada has taken such a step. In December 2020, international flights from the UK were banned for more than two weeks, after the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant.
Canada concerned about Indian variant
The variant is called B.188.8.131.52. According to Dr. Howard Njoo, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, the variant is not a variant of concern (COV), but an interesting variant.
"They're tagged at one point as a variant of interest and then at some point, if it looks like there are clear public health implications, that it's more transmissible, possibly causing problems." more serious health, it becomes a variant designated as worry, Njoo said.
Some vaccines may be less effective with the new variant. Speaking to CBC News, Dr. Cora Constantinescu of the Vaccine Hesitancy Clinic at Alberta Children's Hospital said, It contains two mutations that give it the ability to be more transmissible to possibly evade certain vaccine responses and be more severe."
India on Thursday recorded the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in a single day globally, with more than 314,000 new infections reported and 2,104 new deaths linked to the virus. In total, the country has more than 15.9 million cases of COVID-19, the second largest after the United States.
Currently, international travelers must show proof of a COVID-19 test performed within 72 hours before traveling to Canada, whether by plane or by land. Air travelers are also required to pass another test upon arrival in Canada.
Air travelers must quarantine themselves at a government-approved hotel for at least three days while waiting for coronavirus test results. Once cleared, they are still required to proceed to their final location where they will continue their 14-day quarantine.
Towards the end of their quarantine period, they will have to take a COVID-19 test again.
Travel restrictions were introduced in March 2020 to contain the spread of COVID-19. Travel restrictions have been in place ever since. Non-essential travels continue to be restricted to enter the country.
Here is a list of those who are exempt from travel restrictions and can enter Canada:
Holders of a COPR issued after March 18, 2020, are still not permitted to travel to Canada at this time.
Third-wave enters Canada
Canadian provinces face an increase in COVID-19 cases, leading to stricter lockdown measures. Ontario has recorded more than 3,000 daily cases since the start of April. As a result, the province implemented a stay-at-home order and banned outdoor social gatherings for members of different households, along with other measures.
As for Quebec, most regions of the province face 8 p.m. or at 9:30 p.m. curfew. BEFORE CHRIST. also introduced strict lockdown measures.
In the meantime, Canada is focused on the transition of temporary residents in Canada to permanent resident status. This is in line with the country's commitment to meet its goal of 401,000 immigrants. These efforts include Express Entry draws that are specific to the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), as well as the introduction of six new immigration streams.
These streams will help health care workers, other essential workers, international graduates, and Francophones living in Canada to obtain permanent residence. Streams are scheduled to launch on May 6, 2021.
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have said it looks forward to welcoming skilled immigrants from abroad when the COVID-19 situation improves.
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