The Authorities of Canada is extending its ban on passenger flights from India and Pakistan for an additional month.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra introduced the extension at a press convention on Could 21, someday earlier than the ban was anticipated to be lifted. It can now be in place till June 21.
Direct business and passenger flights from India and Pakistan will proceed to be denied entry into Canada.
Passengers flying not directly into Canada might want to acquire a COVID-19 check from a 3rd nation – not India or Pakistan – earlier than boarding their ultimate flight.
“These ongoing measures will stay in place to assist defend Canadians and handle the elevated danger of imported circumstances of COVID-19 and variants of concern,” Alghabra stated.
“I can say that we’ve seen a big discount within the variety of constructive circumstances of COVID-19 arriving from worldwide flights since this restriction was put in place.”
The choice to increase the flight ban was made based mostly on public well being, Alghabra stated, noting that the pandemic remains to be inserting “elevated stress” on Canada’s healthcare system.
Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public well being officer, stated that though current information exhibits lower than 1% of worldwide travellers examined on the border have COVID-19, people who do check constructive primarily current with a variant of concern.
“Now we have our work lower out for us with the third wave,” Njoo stated.
The federal authorities first banned direct passenger flights from India and Pakistan on April 22. The ban doesn’t have an effect on cargo flights.
On the time, officers stated that India accounted for 20% of air journey volumes to Canada, however over 50% of all constructive assessments had been performed on the border.
The ban is meant to cease the importation of the B.1.617.1 COVID-19 variant. First detected in India in March, the “double mutant” variant has spurred a large resurgence of COVID-19 within the South Asian nation.
“Our authorities’s high precedence is defending Canadian’s well being and security,” Alghabra stated. “We all know that this isn’t the precise time to loosen any measures proper now.”