The Canadian government introduced some sweeping changes on international travel in another effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 with the uptick in variants from the U.K. and South Africa.
Among the changes include a mandatory PCR test and hotel quarantine at the traveller’s expense at four international airport entry points: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced these updates at an update Friday.
In addition to current measures like a pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test, Canada’s four major airlines (Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing, and Air Transat) will be halting all flights to sun destinations effective Sunday through April 30, preventing Canadians from accessing typical March Break vacation destinations.
For non-essential travellers returning at land borders, they will soon have to present a negative PCR test for entry.
At the four international airports, mandatory PCR testing will be in place with required pre-paid quarantine at a Health Canada-approved hotel facility for up to three days while individuals await the results of their test. Trudeau says the cost is expected to be “more than $2,000” which includes the private PCR test on arrival and associated costs at the hotel.
Those who test negative will be allowed to complete their 14-day quarantine, per their plan, with tightened up restrictions, while those who test positive will continue to quarantine at a federal isolation facility.
Full details are expected to be announced in the coming days.