The Canadian government has warned that potential new travel restrictions will seriously impede Canadians ability to return home.
Measures could include a mandatory hotel quarantine that is supervised by police.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday his government will do what it takes to protect Canadian citizens and the restrictions will “significantly impede” Canadians returning home including the cost of hotel quarantine.
Trudeau said Friday that such measures could be imposed without notice and warned Canadians to not travel abroad.
“Let me be very clear: Nobody should be taking a vacation abroad right now. If you’ve got one planned, cancel it – and don’t book a trip for spring break. We need to hang on and hold tight for the next few months, and get through to the spring in the best shape possible,” Justin Trudeau Tweeted.
The warning comes amid recent variants of the virus that emerged in the UK, South Africa and Brazil. The variants are reported to be more contagious and cause more hospitalizations and deaths.
Dr Andrew Morris, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Toronto said that a hotel quarantine for Canadians returning from abroad is long past due.
“It’s inconvenient for the travelers, but we’re in a pandemic,” Morris said. It’s late. It’s months late.”
Canadian returning home could face quarantine costs that run into the thousands of dollars which would essentially shut down all non-essential travel without having to introduce a controversial travel ban.
Legal experts have said that a travel ban would violate Canadians mobility rights guaranteed in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter states that “Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada.”
Johanne Poirier, a McGill University law professor said that those right could be limited, if the limitation is justified, reasonable and proportionate. Given the worldwide pandemic, the courts may be willing to side with the government in unprecedented times.
Canada Already Has Some Of The Strictest Border Measures In The World
Canada already has banned foreigners from entering the country for non-essential travel by land, air and sea. Canadians returning home must show proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test before boarding their flight home and self-quarantine for 14 days.
Trudeau said earlier in the week that he will not close the border to Canadians because the Constitution protects their right to enter the country.
Canadians will always be able to return home but the restrictions they face upon return will persuade others considering international travel to cancel their plans.
With Canadians having to provide a negative covid-19 test, quarantine for 14 days and now potentially a supervised hotel quarantine at their own cost would make taking a vacation almost impossible for the majority of Canadians.
Trudeau has been warning Canadians that travel restrictions could change without notice for the last week. The warning could be giving time for Canadians that are abroad to make their way home before new measures are announced.
The Canada and U.S. land border has been closed to all non-essential traffic since the beginning of the pandemic but Canadians are currently free to travel abroad by air, including to the United States.
Recent measures announced by the Biden administration may also stop the flow of travel as the U.S. now requires proof of a negative Covid-19 test and recently announced a mandatory quarantine for all travelers arriving from abroad.
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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