Canada is extending its temporary suspension on flights from the United Kingdom to Canada for another two weeks, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Wednesday (Dec. 23).
The travel ban was first introduced on Sunday (Dec. 20) in response to a new and contagious strain of COVID-19 that has reportedly been responsible for 60 per cent of new infections in London this month.
Canada's restrictions on passenger flights from the U.K., which was originally set for 72 hours, will now last until at least January 6, 2021.
“If you arrived from the U.K recently, the Government of Canada has been in the process of reaching out with more direction,” Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa.
Starting tomorrow (Dec. 24), WestJet will suspend all inbound and outbound London (Gatwick) flights.
Air Canada has also suspended all flights to the U.K. and says it is notifying affected passengers and offering them other travel options, including flights with other carriers or to other locations that permit travel with Canada.
“Airports should not be busy”
The Prime Minister also took a moment on Wednesday to publicly discourage Canadians from travelling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is not time for a vacation abroad,” said Trudeau. “Even if you travel every winter, please, rethink your plans.”
Trudeau noted how hospitals are “already struggling to cope” with spiking COVID-19 cases.
“The situation is very serious,” he said. “By staying home, and following public health rules, you can be part of the solution.”
The Prime Minister also noted Canada’s travel rules, which he called “the strongest measures in the world,” and reminded Canadians of the government’s mandatory 14-day quarantine order for returning travellers.
“Airports should not be busy,” said Trudeau, switching to French. “If you have reserved a trip, think about it. …If you do still decide to travel, upon your return, you have to quarantine for 14 days.”
“If you don’t respect this rule, there could be serious consequences.”
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