Canada Suspends Air Travel from India and Pakistan

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OTTAWA – COVID-19 Update – The Canada / United States border remains closed to most vehicle traffic. There are restrictions in Ontario as the Ontario Provincial Police and other police services are positioned at the Manitoba and Quebec provincial boundaries.

On Thursday, the Canadian government closed down air travel from India and Pakistan.

Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu states, “Throughout this pandemic, we have adapted our response to emerging science with one goal in mind: protecting Canadians. This is what we are doing again today. We have established some of the strongest border measures in the world, to test, screen, and quarantine incoming travellers. With the current pressure on hospitals and health care workers, we also need to reduce our contacts and avoid crowded places more than ever.”

The Public Health Agency of Canada has been monitoring case data, and through mandatory testing upon entry into Canada, has detected a disproportionally higher number of cases among individuals travelling on flights originating from India and Pakistan. Given the high number of cases, the Government of Canada has taken additional measures:

Transport Canada has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) to suspend all commercial and private passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days, effective 23:30 EDT April 22, 2021.

The Minister of Transport will amend the Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, which means for passengers who depart India or Pakistan to Canada after 23:30 EDT April 22, 2021, via an indirect route, they will need to obtain a negative COVID-19 pre-departure test from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada.

These measures will help manage the elevated risk of imported cases of COVID-19 and variants of concern into Canada during a time of increasing pressure on our health care system.

Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is guided by the latest science. Over the past few months, the Government of Canada introduced enhanced testing requirements for travellers arriving in Canada. These requirements include mandatory submission of contact, travel and quarantine information via ArriveCAN, pre-departure (air) or pre-arrival (land) testing, on-arrival testing and again later during 14-day mandatory quarantine period.

The Government of Canada also put in place more stringent criteria for suitable quarantine plans and a mandatory hotel stopover for travellers arriving by air while they await the results of their on-arrival test before completing the rest of their mandatory 14-day quarantine period.