Canadians told to stay in their home province and cancel all travel plans
TORONTO -- Canadians have been told to stay in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but now the Prime Minister wants you to stay in your province too.
“No one should be taking a vacation right now. If you've got one planned, cancel it" Justin Trudeau said, adding that, "if you are thinking of traveling across the country for spring break - now is not the time."
As the government urges Canadians to stay home to try and contain the spread of COVID-19, it is also urging anyone who has booked non-essential travel to cancel it.
Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said “50,000 cancellations (for international travel) demonstrates that people are understanding that this is a delicate situation that Canada finds itself in at the moment."
While a travel ban is not in effect, there are now so many rules when it comes to traveling that taking a trip would be extremely difficult.
U.S. President Joe Biden has also brought in new travel rules. Now, to enter the United States you need a negative COVID test result and must quarantine 14 days.
When you return to Canada you also need a negative test result and must also quarantine for 14 days. Martin Firestone with Travel Secure believes if it becomes increasingly difficult to travel, people will just stay home.
“They are putting all these layers in place for only one reason and that is to deter you or de-incentivize you from traveling," Firestone said.
As the vaccine rolls out against the virus, having the shot won’t change the rules when it comes to travelling.
“From an insurance perspective they don't care if you have had the vaccine. From a government perspective they don't care if you have had the vaccine. All the rules are the same whether you have had it or not," Firestone said.
Legally, the government cannot force Canadians not to travel, however the Prime Minister said stronger restrictions could be implemented if necessary.
Trudeau said the federal government is also considering a mandatory quarantine in hotels for returning travelers.
The government has secured hotel rooms around Canada’s largest airports and has already spent millions of dollars on hotel rooms for people who said they had nowhere else to quarantine.