Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has advised Canadians to cancel all out-of-country winter trips because travel restrictions could change “without advance notice, at any time.”
Speaking to media on Tuesday (Jan. 19), the Prime Minister strongly reiterated his position on international travel, stressing that “this is not the time to be travelling abroad.”
Trudeau noted that Canadians have a right to freedom of movement under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. However, he warned that new and stricter rules for travellers returning Canada aren't entirely off the table.
The Prime Minister did not indicate what other measures he is possibly considering, but said:
“We have the obligation and the right to impose very strict measures.”
Last week, Trudeau noted how Ottawa was looking into the possibility of banning certain flights in response to the rise of new COVID-19 variants, specifically a new strain of the virus discovered in Brazil.
“...our ministers are actively leaning in on this and talking to experts to reach a determination without delay," the Prime Minister said on Friday (Jan. 15).
Speaking on restrictions for international flights, Trudeau said his government is “always open to strengthening them as necessary,” leaving the door open to a full-on travel ban.
Earlier this month, a survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies found that 87 per cent of respondents said they would support a ban on international travel until COVID-19 case counts are lower.
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