Additional measures for international travellers will soon be coming into effect in Canada.
At a press conference on Friday, federal health officials confirmed that as of February 22, international travellers will need to take a second COVID-19 test upon arrival in the country. As well, they will need to take a third test at the end of their 14-day quarantine.
While they await their results, they will be required to quarantine at a supervised hotel at their own expense. Each stay will $2,000 per person – which includes the cost of private tests and the hotel stay.
A three-night stay at an approved hotel must be booked prior to arrival in Canada, said Health Minister Patty Hajdu.
If travellers test negative for COVID-19 they will be allowed to complete the rest of their 14-day quarantine at home, albeit with enhanced supervision, or continue on to their final destination.
If they receive a positive test result, though, they will be taken to a government facility.
Vaccinated individuals will not be exempt from the new measures, Hajdu confirmed.
“Cancel plans. Stay home. Respect the rules,” said Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.
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Today’s announcement is the latest in a string of recently imposed measures intended to deter international travel.
Since January 7, a negative COVID-19 test has been required to enter Canada by air.
Beginning on February 15, a negative test will also be required to cross the country’s land borders. A third COVID-19 test will be required at the end of their 14-day quarantine.
Essential workers, such as truckers, crossing Canada’s land borders will continue to be exempt from the mandatory tests.
International flights have only been allowed to land at four airports — Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, and Montreal — since January 29.
As well, major Canadian airlines, including Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing, and Air Transat, have cancelled service to sun destinations until April 30.
To date, Canada has seen 817,163 COVID-19 cases and 21,088 virus-related deaths.