Fed. govt. extends 14-day quarantine, travel restrictions to Jan. 21, 2021

OTTAWA — The federal government is extending the 14-day mandatory quarantine and travel restrictions until Jan. 21, 2021.

Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, made the announcement Nov. 29.

Canada will extend the Mandatory Isolation Order and temporary travel restrictions for all travellers seeking entry into Canada from a country other than the U.S., until Jan. 21, 2021.

Meanwhile travel restrictions for U.S. citizens and foreign nationals arriving from the U.S .remain in place until Dec. 21, 2020.

The government says the ability to align U.S. and international travel extension dates, as well as the Mandatory Isolation Order, beginning on January 21, 2021 will enable Ottawa to communicate any travel extensions or changes as quickly as possible and provide certainty for Canadians, U.S. and international travelelrs.

“Protecting the health and safety of Canadians is my most important responsibility. We have introduced a number of policies to keep Canadians safe but must remain flexible and adapt to the evolving COVID-19 situation, while keeping your health as our top priority,” said Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

The mandatory quarantine has been in place since mid-March and many in the industry feel it’s the biggest hurdle to restarting travel amid the pandemic.

WestJet’s COVID-19 testing project, in partnership with Calgary Airport and with support from the federal government, aims to reduce the 14-day quarantine. There’s talk that the project will be expanded to more Canadian airports, but there’s no timeline on that yet.

Air Canada also spearheaded a testing project for arriving international passengers at Pearson Airport, and just last week announced it was teaming up with Shoppers Drug Mart to offer pre-flight tests for purchase.

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