The new and more highly contagious variant of COVID-19 from the UK has been confirmed in Canada and could lead to provincial travel restrictions.
The new variant of Covid-19 was confirmed in a couple from Durham, Ontario by officials on Saturday.
“The cases are a couple from Durham with no known travel history, exposure or high-risk contacts,” said Barbara Yaffe, acting chief medical officer for Ontario.
The Canadian Government had already suspended flights from the UK until at least January 6th as the new variant spreads across Britain.
New Variant of COVID-19 Could Bring Inter-Provincial Travel Restrictions
As provinces across Canada are already tackling record high cases, provinces could take preventative steps to control the importation of the new variant from Ontario. New measures could include mandatory quarantines for non-essential travel within Canada. If new quarantines measures are implemented, travelers may be required to self-isolate for 14 days when traveling between provinces.
British Colombia Will Consider Further Actions To Reduce Travel
The BC Health Ministry has announced that they will take further action to reduce non-essential travel if needed.
“We will continue to do everything we can to keep people and communities safe and may consider further action to reduce non-essential travel as the situation evolves,” a ministry spokesperson told CTV News Vancouver.
What Travelers Need To Know About The New Covid Variant In Canada
Travelers need to be aware that Canadian provinces could mandate new quarantine measures without notice for inter-provincial travel.
With worldwide travel bans on countries with a large number of cases of the new variant, travelers should stay tuned to increasing numbers of the Covid-19. Large outbreaks of the new variant within Canadian borders may make international travel bans and restrictions more likely.
Recently over 50 countries banned flights from the UK after the country announced the new variant of Covid-19 was spreading rapidly within the country.
The New Variant of Covid-19 Spreads Faster
The CDC states that travel already increases your risk of contracting and spreading Covid-19. With the new variant able to spread easier and faster, travelers must take all precautions to protect themselves and those around them.
Although the new variant of Covid-19 is more contagious by 56%, The New York Times reported that there is no evidence that it is more deadly.
Ontario Begins Lockdown
The province of Ontario was already entering a lockdown beginning on December 26 that saw all non-essential businesses close and restaurant dining suspended with the exception of take-out.
Ontario set a new daily record of 2,447 cases on Christmas Eve
Canada has confirmed 541,616 cases of Covid-19 and 14,800 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
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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