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Canada suspends flights to Mexico, imposes new travel crackdown

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Lee Steele
Lee Steele is the founding director of Roof Cat Media and has published Yucatán Magazine and other titles since 2012. Sign up for our weekly newsletters, so our top headlines will appear in your inbox each Monday and Thursday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces a ban on travel to Mexico and the Caribbean during a Jan. 29 press conference. Photo: Courtesy

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suspended airline service to Mexico and the Caribbean. Airlines Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing and Air Transat immediately agreed to comply starting Sunday. Aeromexico later joined the list of airlines cooperating with the government’s request.

Trudeau also made it mandatory for travelers to quarantine in a hotel at their own expense when they arrive in Canada.

Both measures will be in place until at least April 30, Trudeau said at a press conference today.

In addition to the pre-boarding test Canada already requires, the government will be introducing mandatory PCR testing at the airport for people returning to Canada.

“Travelers will then have to wait for up to three days at an approved hotel for their test results, at their own expense, which is expected to be more than $2,000,” Trudeau said. “Those with negative test results will then be able to quarantine at home under significantly increased surveillance and enforcement.”

Those with positive tests will have to quarantine in designated government facilities to make sure they’re not carrying variants of particular concern.

International passenger flights will be funneled at one of four Canadian airports: Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal.

“We will also, in the coming weeks, be requiring nonessential travelers to show a negative test before entry at the land border with the US, and we are working to stand up additional testing requirements for land travel,” Trudeau said.

Canada already requires those entering the country to self-isolate for 14 days and to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days before arrival.

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