NARCITY/Transport Minister Omar Alghabra has revealed that Canada’s new travel rules almost included an outright ban on all flights.
Speaking to Rosemary Barton Live on Sunday, January 31, per CBC News, he explained that “all options” were considered by the federal government to restrict non-essential travel.
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We even considered banning all flights.
“We thought very hard about it and we considered all options,” he said.
While Alghabra admitted that officials “even considered banning all flights,” they concluded that it would have a detrimental effect on the delivery of essential products and services across the country.
“So we wanted to make sure that we don’t have a negative impact on other important aspects of our society and our economy” he explained.
Instead, Justin Trudeau announced that all incoming air passengers would be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Canada, in addition to the proof of a negative test required before boarding a flight into the country.
In addition, travellers must complete several days of mandatory quarantine in a government-approved hotel while they await their test results.
While an outright ban hasn’t been implemented, flights to sunny destinations like the Caribbean and Mexico have now been suspended by the federal government.
All incoming international flights must continue to land in one of just four Canadian airports and previous exemptions no longer apply.
The prime minister also announced changes to the Canada-U.S. land border restrictions, including requiring a negative COVID-19 test to cross.
“No one answer is perfect, but combining all of these options together gives us a solid plan to protect Canadians,” Alghabra concluded.