Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says the federal authorities is contemplating additional limits on worldwide journey into Canada to forestall the introduction of latest COVID-19 circumstances as calls from opposition leaders for further pandemic measures develop louder.
“I very a lot perceive and I am very sympathetic to the view that, with the virus raging all over the world, we have to be positive our borders are actually, actually safe,” Freeland mentioned in an interview on CBC’s Energy and Politics.
“And that is one thing that we’re engaged on actually urgently now.”
The feedback come a day after International Affairs Minister Marc Garneau mentioned he would not rule out invoking the federal Emergencies Act to restrict journey. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned final week he’s open to tighter restrictions however urged present measures are nonetheless efficient.
Freeland hinted throughout an earlier press convention that one of many choices on the desk is necessary resort quarantines for air travellers who return from non-essential journeys overseas.
“We’re contemplating the difficulty very, very critically,” Freeland mentioned in French in response to a query a few quarantine rule.
The federal authorities now requires nearly all incoming travellers to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival (except they’re exempt as a result of they’re an important employee) however they will achieve this at their very own houses. The necessary quarantine is enforced by public well being officers, who make hundreds of calls per day to confirm compliance, the federal government mentioned in a information launch final month.
Worldwide travellers who aren’t Canadian residents or everlasting residents are at present banned from coming into Canada, though there’s a lengthy listing of exemptions that embody important employees, seasonal employees, caregivers and worldwide college students.
Federal figures recommend that between two and 5 per cent of COVID-19 circumstances in Canada are linked to journey, however there may be nonetheless just about no testing on the border and plenty of latest circumstances shouldn’t have an recognized supply.
Ford, Singh push for added measures
Ontario Premier Doug Ford mentioned he’s urging Trudeau to disclaim entry to Canada to anybody who is just not a Canadian resident or citizen.
“There isn’t any cause we want folks coming in,” Ford informed a press convention on Monday.
“Each time I search for on the sky I am pondering, ‘What number of circumstances are coming in?’ This has to cease.”
Ford additionally known as for necessary testing for all travellers arriving by land and air.
A complete of 143 worldwide flights and 63 home flights with confirmed COVID-19 circumstances have touched down in Canada previously two weeks, in accordance with figures from the Public Well being Company of Canada.
NDP Chief Jagmeet Singh mentioned the federal authorities ought to contemplate each necessary resort quarantines and a full-on ban of non-essential worldwide journey.
“We have seen the usage of quarantines — very agency and strict quarantines for travellers — work very successfully in different jurisdictions,” mentioned Singh. “I am open to comparable measures, imposing a strict quarantine of 14 days, ensuring that it occurs in a resort or one other facility equally. Nevertheless it’s agency and it is required and it is monitored.”
A variety of nations which were profitable at minimizing group unfold of COVID-19 — together with South Korea, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand — have stricter quarantine regimes than Canada.
In New Zealand, which had simply 64 lively COVID-19 circumstances as of Monday, passengers head straight to a “managed isolation facility” — a resort — in the event that they haven’t any signs, or to a “quarantine facility” in the event that they do.
In South Korea, new arrivals should self-isolate for 2 weeks at a government-designated facility at their very own expense. They will select to quarantine at dwelling however should obtain a monitoring app to make sure compliance.
Obligatory quarantine can scale back leisure journey, professional says
Karen Grépin, affiliate professor at Hong Kong College’s college of public well being, mentioned in an interview on CBC’s Information Community that two-week hotel-based quarantines can serve to scale back the quantity of non-essential journey by offering a disincentive for folks excited about travelling for leisure.
“I like them as a result of it means folks can nonetheless come and go if you should, ” mentioned Grépin, who has studied journey restrictions all over the world throughout the pandemic. “I prefer it as a result of you do not have to foretell the place the chance is coming from as a result of it applies evenly to everybody.”
Grépin mentioned it is too late for Canada to forestall the introduction of latest coronavirus variants — together with one first recognized in South Africa and one other that emerged within the U.Okay. — nevertheless it may scale back the variety of circumstances of these variants.
WATCH | Resort quarantine may assist discourage non-essential journey, public well being professor says
Conservative Chief Erin O’Toole mentioned he desires the federal authorities to seek the advice of opposition events earlier than further measures are introduced in. He accused the Liberal authorities of being too sluggish to restrict journey in the beginning of the pandemic.
The federal authorities has not consulted with the airline trade about extra stringent measures, mentioned Mike McNaney, head of the Nationwide Airways Council of Canada.
“There’s been no reach-out,” added Air Transat spokesperson Christophe Hennebelle.