Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that air travellers to Canada would quarantine in a hotel while they await the result of their coronavirus test with effect from February 22.
It should be recalled that Trudeau had previously announced that stricter restrictions would be enforced on nonessential air travellers in a bid to tackle the new and probably more contagious variants.
Government officials confirmed that — with limited exceptions — non-essential air travelers would have to reserve a three-night stay in a hotel that is authorised by government at their own expense before they travel to Canada.
Travelers that cross the United States’ border by land will not isolate at a hotel, but must present a negative test conducted within three days before their arrival and must be tested on arrival and toward the end of the 14-day quarantine at home or where it is observed.
Canada’s Public Safety Minister Bill Blair disclosed that less than 5 percent of those who cross the land border are nonessential travelers, as such, the hotel stay is not needed for those who enter by land.
Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam disclosed recently that there have been over 429 cases of a worrying variant that was first discovered in the United Kingdom (UK), and 28 cases of the variant first discovered in South Africa have been reported across eight provinces. According to Tam, there has been only one report of the variant first detected in Brazil.
Though Canada has contracted for more vaccines than needed in a bid to vaccinate its population, the vaccines’ arrival has been slow and frustrating to many who heard about a faster rollout in the United States.
Canadian officials have made it known that Trudeau spoke with US President about the possibility of procuring Pfizer vaccines from a plant whose first 100 million doses have been bought by the US government in Michigan.
When asked about Canada recently, White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki said: “I think the president has been clear publicly and certainly privately when the conversation comes up that his focus now is on ensuring that the American people are vaccinated.”