OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Passenger flights from the U.K. will not be allowed into Canada until at least Jan. 6, 2021, as the federal government tries to keep a mutated strain of the COVID-19 virus out of the country.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Wednesday that the federal government was extending the temporary suspension by two weeks.
Canada first announced on Sunday it was suspending inbound passenger flights from the U.K. for 72 hours.
“Let’s be clear, this is not the time for a vacation abroad,” Trudeau said. “Even if you travel every winter, please, rethink your plans.”
The prime minister pointed to the critical situation the COVID-19 pandemic has created in Canadian hospitals, noting the undue strain a new variant of the virus has had in places like the U.K.
“Canada continues to have significant travel and border measures in place for anyone entering the country. Unlike most of our allies, we have a mandatory two-week quarantine, including for Canadians returning to the country,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the Canada-U.S. land border remains closed to all non-essential traffic.
Canada’s ban on U.K. flights does not apply to cargo planes or flights where no one gets off the plane.
The new variant of the coronavirus has been spreading quickly across the U.K. and has prompted an emergency lockdown.
“If you’ve arrived from the U.K. recently, the Government of Canada has been in the process of reaching out with more directions,” Trudeau said Wednesday.
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said on Tuesday that the new variant had not been detected in Canada yet.
Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium have also halted flights from the U.K.
-With files from The Canadian Press