Canada looking at outbound international travel bans as cases across the country rise

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By Trevor Kucheran for Travel Off Path

Canadians looking to escape the cold winter and take a sunny beach vacation may want to do that sooner rather than later. 

The Canadian government is considering more travel restrictions including a possible ban on international outbound travel. 

older couple airport masks

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government is  “always open to strengthening them as necessary,” reported CTV News. Trudeau was referring to restrictions that could be put into place regarding international travel.    Explore Cancun and The Mexican Riviera This WinterPlay Video

woman checking in for flight airport mask

The Canadian government is concerned over new strains of Covid-19 that have been found to be more contagious. 

“We will continue to look at various variants, various geographies, and make sure we’re taking the right decisions and the right measures to keep Canadians safe,” the Prime Minister said at a press conference in Ottawa. 

woman leaving airport in mask

Canada is still experiencing record Covid-19 cases and authorities are concerned that the new variants could cause cases to spike even further. 

The new variant is already in Canada with 3 new cases confirmed north of Toronto with no links to international travel suggesting that the variant is already spreading in the community. 

woman waiting for flight at airport

On Thursday alone, authorities discovered 14 new cases of the variant in Ontario but admitted that very limited testing for the variant means the actual number of cases could be much higher. 

Canada Has Implemented International Travel Bans Before

In December the Canadian government banned all outbound flights to Brazil and the UK over fears the new variant could make its way back to Canada. Although the bans have now been lifted, the government is considering new bans to help keep Canadians safe if needed. 

woman waits for flight in mask and gloves

Could Canada Ban All Outbound International Flights?

Under the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms, Section 6 reads that every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada.”

Although the charter of rights seems clear, these are  unprecedented times which has seen many countries enact new laws to protects it’s citizens. 

male traveler at the airport wearing a mask with his luggage

Australia has had a blanket ban on all non-essential international travel since the pandemic began which restricts its citizens from being able to leave the country without permission. 

Canada could enact similar restrictions by following Australia’s lead. Australian authorities introduced new laws under a ‘Biosecurity Act’ which gave the country the authority to restrict the movement of its citizens in and out of the country. 

Air Canada plane

Survey Suggests Canadians Would Support International Travel Ban

Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies launched a survey at the beginning of 2021 that concluded 87% of Canadians would support a total ban on international travel until there are several consecutive days of reduced numbers new cases. 

women returning home to canada from travel wearing masks

British Colombia Seeks Legal Advice To Ban Travel 

The Canadian province of British Colombia is looking to enact its own travel bans. Premier John Horgan announced he’s seeking legal advice to see if B.C. can stop Canadians from travelling to the province for non-essential reasons.

woman in mask at airport

Foreign Travel Only 2% Of All Cases in Canada

While the Canadian government may be looking at new travel restrictions, health authorities say that international travelers make up a very small percentage of Coronavirus cases. 

The Public Health Agency of Canada has reported that under 2% of all Covid-19 cases in Canada stem from international travel. 

blonde traveler woman mask airport luggage

Source: Travel Off Path

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