OTTAWA, Canada (AFP) — Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday warned Canadians not to travel, saying further pandemic restrictions may be around the corner that would make it harder to fly home from trips abroad.
The caution comes as public health officials are increasingly concerned about the spread of new COVID-19 variants, and provincial leaders are calling for stepped up federal restrictions including stricter quarantine enforcement.
“People should not be planning on non-essential travel or vacation travel outside of the country, particularly because… we could be bringing in new measures that significantly impede your ability to return to Canada at any given moment without warning,” Trudeau told a news conference.
Canada last March closed its borders to most non-essential travellers, and required incoming travellers to quarantine for 14 days.
Since the beginning of January, travellers have also been required to test negative for the novel coronavirus before boarding a flight.
Trudeau said he spoke with the premiers of Canada’s 10 provinces Thursday evening “about a number of different options” to further limit travel and keep Canadians safe.
Among the proposals is to require people to quarantine upon arrival in designated hotels under strict supervision and at their own expense, rather than at home.
“We will have more to say on those in the coming days,” Trudeau said.
In the meantime, he stressed, “The bottom line is this is not the time to travel either internationally or even across the country.
“With spring break coming, people need to hunker down, stay home, make sure we kill this second wave of the virus.”