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Canada Approaches 10,000 Cases But Still Allows Travel Within The Country

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Canadians are still allowed to leisurely travel anywhere in the country as cases of COVID-19 approach 10,000. 

The Canadian government has not set any travel restrictions for those who wish to take a road trip or go on a family vacation. Trudeau has urged Canadians to stay home but there are no formal restrictions set out by the government.

All non-essential travel is permitted within Canada.

The only restrictions and travel advisories in place for Canadians are to avoid all non-essential international travel and to avoid all travel by cruise ship.  

The most recent restrictions for Canadians is do not travel by plane or train if you are suffering from symptoms of the Coronavirus. Canadians that are showing symptoms of the virus are not allowed to travel within Canada. 

For all other Canadians, the decision to travel is your choice but as mentioned by the CDC, you could be spreading the virus without knowing you even have it. 

This new measure will be up to airlines and rail companies to enforce restrictions.

The new restrictions for passenger showing symptoms went into effect on Monday at noon and apply to anyone showing signs of a cough, fever and difficulty breathing.

Those travellers that are showing Coronavirus symptoms will no longer be able to travel by air or rail between provinces and cities anywhere in Canada. 

air canada planes at airport

"It will be important for operators of airlines and trains to ensure that people who are exhibiting symptoms do not board those trains. It will be a Transport Canada rule that will be enforced, but at the same time, we're telling people stay home if it's not absolutely essential for you to travel."

The prime minister added that the federal government would be providing airlines and rail companies with “further tools” to bar those showing symptoms from getting on planes and trains. 

screening procedure

According to a news release from Transport Canada, passengers will be denied boarding “for a period of 14 days, or until a medical certificate is presented that confirms that the traveller's symptoms are not related to COVID-19.”

The restrictions apply to aircraft with 10 seats or more, while commuter trains are exempt from the measures.

non essential travel canada

Intercity passenger rail operators subject to the additional screening include:

  • Via Rail Canada Inc.
  • Great Canadian Railtour Company Ltd.
  • Keewatin Railway Company.
  • Ontario Northland Transportation Commission.
  • White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad.
  • Transport Ferroviaire Tshiuetin Inc.

Trudeau said that the new measures do not apply to bus travel between provinces, which is regulated by provincial and municipal governments. That means it's not mandatory for passengers to undergo any screening before boarding a bus. 

"We have been in touch with bus companies and recommended Public Health Agency of Canada procedures and protocols with respect to cleaning the bus, with respect to trying to keep people at physical distances from each other."

Garneau explained that it's up to the provinces to decide if they want to implement the measures, but said that he was told that “very few people” are embarking on bus trips between provinces right now. 

“We will be speaking to the provinces about this,” Garneau said, adding that they “may want to consider” putting similar protocols in place for buses under their jurisdiction. 

Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said details on how companies are expected to enforce the restrictions will be shared “in the coming days.”

But screening at points of transit — whether border crossings, airports or train stations — isn't completely foolproof, cautioned Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada's deputy chief public health officer. 

“It's never a 100 per cent guarantee that we're going to stop further transmission of infection,” he said.

Canada's Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo cautioned Saturday that screening measures can only go so far when it comes to containing the spread of COVID-19. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

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