Air travellers to Canada will have to quarantine in a hotel for three days at their own expense starting February 22.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released the official date at a press conference on February 12, about two weeks after introducing the new coronavirus safety measure.
Air travellers must also take a quarantine test once they arrive at the airport. The prime minister said that the three-day quarantine in a government facility is meant to allow enough time for the results of a PCR test to come through. These coronavirus tests are more accurate than rapid testing, Trudeau said.
“The decision we made to [send air travellers to quarantine in a hotel] is not a punishment, it is to allow enough time for a PCR test to be analyzed,” the prime minister said in French, “As soon as they receive a negative result— even if it is just after one day— they can return home to carry out the rest of their quarantine if they have a sufficient quarantine plan.”
The estimated cost to travellers who must quarantine in a hotel is $2,000. Hotel staff are required to transport travellers from the airport to their destination, provide meals, and allow access to internet, TV and radio.
International flights to Canada can only land in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, and Toronto. In addition to the PCR test they receive at the Canadian airport, they need to provide proof of a negative test before departing from an international airport.
Starting February 15, land border crossers will also have to provide a negative coronavirus test that was conducted 72 hours before crossing the border. Those who have previously tested positive for COVID but are no longer infectious must provide proof of a positive test that was conducted between 14 and 90 days prior to departure, rather than needing to provide proof of a negative test. Travellers who do not comply could face fines of up to $3,000 per day or criminal prosecution.
Essential travellers, such as truck drivers, will not be subject to the same measures.
Travellers to Canada also need to download the ArriveCAN app. This government app is meant to help travellers comply with coronavirus measures at the border.
Canada’s travel restrictions have been in place since March, 2020. Canadian citizens and permanent residents are allowed to return home, but foreign nationals need to have family in Canada, or be coming to the country for essential reasons. The current restrictions are in place until February 21.
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