Vancouver International Airport (YVR Airport/Twitter)

Vancouver International Airport (YVR Airport/Twitter)

Non-essential travellers to pay mandatory test, hotel costs as Trudeau announces new COVID rules

‘Even one case is a case too many, particularly now that we must take into account new variants’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced sweeping measures to combat Canadians partaking in non-essential travel.

On Friday (Jan. 29), Trudeau announced that the four main airlines have agreed to suspend flights to sun destinations, such as the Caribbean and Mexico, starting Sunday. Sunwing, WestJet, Air Canada and Air Transat.

In addition, all international flights will land only in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.

Travellers will be subject to the ongoing pre-boarding test, but also a mandatory test – at their own expense – once they’ve landed at a designated airport.

This will require a wait of up to three days for the test results, Trudeau said. Travellers will have to stay in a government-approved hotel at their own expense – in total costing an estimated $2,000, he said.

If negative, the traveller will be sent home and continue the mandatory 14-day quarantine and be under increased surveillance.

Meanwhile, those who test positive will be immediately quarantined in government-designated facilities.

Trudeau said that fewer than two per cent of cases are linked to Canadians coming back into the country, calling it “proof that our current measures are working.”

However, “even one case is a case too many, particularly now that we must take into account new variants.”

The federal government is working on implementing rules that non-essential travellers at U.S.-Canadian land borders will also need to show a negative test before entering the country.

ALSO READ: Justin Trudeau mulls mandatory hotel quarantine for returning travellers

More to come.

@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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