Canada‘s Government announced (16-Mar-2020) the suspension of entry into Canada, via air travel, of foreign nationals from all countries except the US who are not citizens or permanent residents and have resided in any country other than the US in the last 14 days, in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The travel ban is effective from 12:00 on 18-Mar-2020 and will not apply to air crews, travellers arriving in Canada in transit to a third country, permanent residents, diplomats or immediate family members of citizens. Canadians are urged to avoid non essential travel outside Canada, and any traveller entering the country will be required to undergo 14 days of self isolation, with the exception of workers who are essential for the movement of goods and people. The government will also redirect some international inbound services to Toronto Pearson International Airport, Vancouver International Airport, Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and YYC Calgary International Airport, effective 00:01 on 18-Mar-2020. The Canada Border Services Agency and Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) will ensure an increase in resources at these four airports. Furthermore, the government is requesting airlines undertake the following obligations, effective 00:01 on 19-Mar-2020 (these measures do not apply to domestic or cargo services):
- Airlines are to begin denying boarding to travellers who are symptomatic and to keep them from going on an international service to Canada, irrelevant of citizenship status;
- Air operators are to perform basic health assessment of all air travellers before boarding, based on guidance from the PHAC;
- Carriers are to refuse boarding to travellers symptomatic of coronavirus for a period of 14 days and until the traveller is able to demonstrate they are non symptomatic, or until a medical certificate is presented that will confirm the passenger as a non carrier.
If passengers become symptomatic inflight, carriers must isolate the passenger immediately and flight crews must put on personal protective equipment and notify air traffic control. Airports will also be required to segregate any symptomatic passengers immediately upon deplaning. The government is requesting airport operators perform enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and that strengthened screening measures be put in place at airports. [more – original PR] [more – original PR – Prime Minister of Canada]