On Tuesday Justin Trudeau announced his government will be extending the COVID travel restrictions until at least Jun 30.
Just one day earlier the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Quebecois voted down a Conservative motion to have the Canadian border pandemic mandates and restrictions end.
“The reality is, as much as people would like to pretend we’re not, we’re still in a pandemic. There are Canadians who die every single day because of COVID-19,”. Trudeau said to reporters, adding Canadians are at risk and warns of “new variants” in the fall.
The extension of the measures mean travellers coming to Canada are still required to use the governments ArriveCan app and complete a survey with questions about their travels.
The travel ban for Canadians is still in place, Canadas that don’t have or want to support vaccine passports are still banned from travelling by plane and train within Canada and not allowed to leave the country. However unvaccinated Canadians can still fly in to Canada but required to obtain a negative Antigen or Molecular test before their departure and quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
Unvaccinated florigen travellers are banned from entering Canada, even if they test negative for COVID-19. The travel ban does have limited exemptions such as including one for Ukrainian refugees.
Conservative MP and transport critic Melissa Lantsman responded by accusing Trudeau of dividing Canadians and “Double down with no justification”.
Several travel and tourism organizations recently called for the Trudeau government to end travel mandates. According to the Canadian Airport Council, the measures quadrupled the processing time for air travellers.
“We’re seeing that we clearly cannot have these public health requirements and testing at our borders as we get back to regular travel,” said Council interim president Monette Pasher.
“Getting back to regular travel with these health protocols and testing in place, the two can’t coexist without a significant pressure and strain on our system.”
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has also urged the Trudeau government to lift the restrictions on Covid travel, including the ArriveCan app.
“It is clear that people want to travel,” said IATA regional vice-president for the Americas Peter Cerda. “We can therefore ill afford to have passengers subjected to unacceptable wait times both on arrival in the country or on departure.”
Yesterday, on May 31, WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech spoke out against the mandates pointing to the commonly known fact the Covid “vaccines are not preventing the spreading of the virus since #omicron“