Ottawa introduces mandatory quarantine during hotel stays to disincentivize travel
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that several airlines, including Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing and Air Transat, have come to an agreement to immediately suspend service to sun destinations, including the Caribbean and Mexico, starting this Sunday until April 30th. The airlines will also be making arrangements with their customers who are presently abroad to organize flights home.
"With the challenges we currently face with COVID-19, both here at home and abroad, we all agree that now is just not the time to be flying," said Trudeau outside his home at Rideau Cottage.
Furthermore, the federal government has announced mandatory PCR testing at the airport for people returning to Canada, in addition to the existing pre-boarding test.
Travelers must also wait three days at an approved hotel for their test results, at their own expense, which Trudeau said is expected to be more than $2,000. Those with a negative test can then finish their 2-week quarantine at home.
"By putting in place these tough measures now, we can look forward to a better time, when we can plan those vacations," said Trudeau.
This move comes amidst similar measures from other Commonwealth countries.
Australia now requires travelers to quarantine at a government-arranged hotel for two weeks, costing around $4,620 AUD for a family of four (around 4,500 Canadian).
The U.K. introduces similar measures yesterday, requiring citizens arriving from high-risk countries to forcibly quarantine in hotels for 10 days at their own expense.