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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
British Columbia Seeks Legal Advice To Ban Travel
The Canadian province of British Columbia 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.
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.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories