2020-03-16 – Canada will step up its coronavirus response by taking the extraordinary step of barring entry to everyone who is not a citizen or permanent resident, with a few exceptions, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday.
U.S. citizens, immediate family members of citizens, aircrew and diplomats are the only groups exempt from the new measure.
Anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to board flights to Canada, with air operators required to complete a basic health check on every passenger.
“I know that these measures are far-reaching,” Trudeau said. “They are exceptional circumstances calling for exceptional measures.”
Further, international flights are now only allowed to land at airports in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.
Trudeau said a government support program would be set up “to help asymptomatic Canadians to return home.”
Financial assistance is to be provided to help Canadian travellers with the costs of returning home or to cover their needs while they wait, the Prime Minister said.
To help stop the coronavirus spread, the Canada Border Services Agency is to boost staff, education and screening at airports and other entry points.
Travellers from any international location will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days, after being asked if they have coronavirus symptoms: fever, coughing or difficulty breathing.
Canada currently has around 375 presumed and confirmed cases of COVID-19