Mohanad Moetaz - 25 May, 2021
Canada has extended the travel ban on direct flights from India and Pakistan until at least June 21.
The travel ban was set to expire on May 22, but was extended for another 30 days.
Passenger and business flights are banned, but cargo flights carrying vaccines and protective equipment may still be allowed to enter the country.
Those in India and Pakistan who wish to come to Canada may still do so. They will have to schedule a long layover in a third country where they take a COVID-19 test before heading to Canada.
Omar Alghabra, Canada's transport minister, confirmed the news during a pandemic briefing on May 21.
Concern for COVID-19 variants in Canada
Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada's deputy chief public health officer, said that the travel restrictions are important because 70 per cent of new COVID-19 cases are variants of concern.
“It’s important to have these measures in place, and we recognize that although importation of variants is a small part of what’s happening with respect to the situation in Canada, anything we can do in terms of that added layer is important at this time,” Njoo said.
A total of 279 travellers tested positive for the new India variant (B.188.8.131.52) between February 22 and May 6, 2021.
India have over 300,000 COVID-19-related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, as of Monday. The total number of COVID-19 cases is almost at 27 million, the second highest after the U.S.
India has the second largest population in the world, with over 1.3 billion people, with China first.
Travelling to Canada
If you are exempt from the travel restrictions in place, there are a few things you should know before making plans to come to Canada.
International travellers are required to show proof of a COVID-19 test, taken up to 72 hours prior to travelling to Canada.
Those coming from India and Pakistan, who can only come to Canada visa an indirect route, must have taken their COVID-19 test in a third country.
Air travellers are also required to take another COVID-19 test upon arriving in Canada. They are required to quarantine at a government-approved hotel for three days while they wait for their results.
After that, they are still required to travel to their final destination to carry out their 14-day quarantine. The three day hotel stay can count towards the 14 days.