Due to the continuation of COVID-19, the border between the U.S. and Canada has been closed since March 2020. Although there have been some loopholes for citizens to travel between the two countries, one rule for those traveling into Canada has remained the same: those entering the country must quarantine for 2 weeks upon arriving.
Until now, that quarantine could happen anywhere – one’s own home, a family member’s home, or even a hotel. However, as Canadians continue to travel and cases of coronavirus continue to increase, on top of the looming threat of the more contagious forms of the virus, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along with the Canadian Premiers, are looking at ways to make non-essential travel even less appealing.
One option they’re considering to curb travel is to change the requirements of the quarantine upon arriving in Canada. Instead of allowing the 14 days of self-isolation to be anywhere, they may require travelers to quarantine at a hotel rather than at their or a family’s home. In fact, Quebec Premier François Legault said in a press release (link is in French. Here’s the English translation) that he is considering “forcing all those returning from travel to do a 14-day quarantine in a supervised hotel room, which they would have to pay for themselves.”
Wow. Sounds like what Australia started doing, back in July, huh?
Trudeau himself implored Canadians not to travel while the country tries to lower its cases of the potentially deadly virus.
Let me be very clear: Nobody should be taking a vacation abroad right now. If you’ve got one planned, cancel it – and don’t book a trip for spring break. We need to hang on and hold tight for the next few months, and get through to the spring in the best shape possible.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 22, 2021
“We could be bringing in new measures that significantly impede your ability to return to Canada, at any given moment, without warning,” Trudeau said during a recent news conference. “The bottom line is this: This is not the time to travel either internationally or across the country.”
Meanwhile, CNN Travel has reported that Canadian officials are also working with the Biden administration to lose the “travel loophole” that allows Canadians to enter the U.S easily.
Although the border between the two countries is closed to motor vehicle traffic, and U.S. citizens, with rare exceptions, are not allowed to enter Canada through any means, there was nothing under the Trump administration that impeded Canadians from flying into the United States.
That has allowed hundreds of thousands of travelers to make discretionary trips – snowbirds going to Arizona and Florida for the winter, family member visits, and even a few Canadians going to places such as Walt Disney World – since March 2020.
With a new administration in the U.S., Canadian officials hope something can be done from the U.S.’s side to discourage Canadians from traveling here at this time.
“We are looking at a number of measures that can include further restrictions on international travel, additional tracing measures, additional quarantine measures and enforcement measures to de-incentivize and discourage people from making unnecessary trips,” said Bill Blair, Canada’s public safety minister.
With the Biden administration considering a quarantine for incoming travelers, the Canadian government may get its wish.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary