Transport Canada is banning all direct flights into the country from India and Pakistan as of 11:30 p.m. on Thursday.
The news comes after Federal Opposition Leader Erin O’Toole, along with the Premiers of Ontario and Quebec, urged the Prime Minister to put a hold on air travel into Canada. That was as travel-related COVID-19 cases continued to rise throughout the country.
The ban will be in place for at least 30 days. Cargo flights will still be allowed to ensure continued supplies of PPE, vaccines and other essential goods.
Passengers who depart from India or Pakistan on an in-direct flight route will need to obtain a negative COVID-19 at their last point of departure.
There are currently no direct flights from Brazil, however, the federal government said they will not hesitate to ban travel from other countries if the signs point to an influx of cases from them.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra also carried an important message to Canadians, urging everyone to avoid the risk of falling into the trap of blaming an identifiable group for causing COVID-19, like what happened with Asian-Canadians at the start of the pandemic.
Our government’s top priority is protecting Canadians’ health and safety, and our response to the COVID-19 pandemic is guided by the latest science and research. pic.twitter.com/I5DXENULsw
— Omar Alghabra (@OmarAlghabra) April 22, 2021