Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic outside his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang)

Canada’s latest travel restrictions expected to be announced Friday as COVID-19 variants spread

Prime Minister expected to announce new measures aimed at the containing spread of COVID-19 variants

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to announce today new measures aimed at further restricting international travel as more infectious variants of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 spread around the globe.

Trudeau has urged Canadians for weeks not to take any non-essential trips outside the country.

And he has warned that the federal government could impose restrictions at any time that would make it harder for them to return.

He is expected to follow up those warnings today with action in time to stop an exodus of winter-weary Canadians from taking advantage of the coming March break to vacation in warmer climes.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault has been urging Ottawa to require anyone returning from abroad to quarantine for two weeks in a hotel, at their own expense.

Trudeau, who has conspicuously left the door open to that option, is expected to adopt it today.

He is also expected to announce other measures to further discourage travel abroad.

Non-essential travel into Canada by most foreign nationals has been banned since the pandemic first began sweeping across the country last March. Anyone entering the country has been required to self-quarantine for two weeks.

The federal government began beefing up those measures earlier this month.

RELATED: Justin Trudeau mulls mandatory hotel quarantine for returning travellers

As of Jan. 7, the government has required proof of a negative COVID-19 test, taken within 72 hours of departure time, before anyone is allowed to board a flight to Canada.

Legault and Ontario Premier Doug Ford have urged Ottawa to impose mandatory testing upon arrival in Canada as well. And they’ve proposed a ban on flights from countries where the new, more contagious variants of the virus are circulating.

Canada did temporarily ban flights from the United Kingdom after that country reported in December a new variant of COVID-19 that was spreading like wildfire. But the ban was lifted once the pre-departure test requirement came into effect.

Trudeau is also expected to announce the second instalment of funding to provinces and territories to help them safely operate schools during the pandemic.

Last August, Trudeau committed up to $2 billion through the Safe Return To Class fund. The first instalment was paid out last fall as schools reopened across the country for the first time since March.

At the time, Trudeau promised a second instalment early in 2021 to ensure support for the whole school year.

The fund is intended to help cover the costs of physically-distanced learning spaces, improved air ventilation, increased hand sanitation and hygiene, and purchases of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies.

READ MORE: Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

Coronavirusfederal government

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Transition house program manager Melrose Tomlinson, from left, Archway Society co-executive director Sherry Demetrick, Men’s Shed club members John Halper, David Friesen, Harry Knopf and Sam Lachman collaborated on building a gazebo structure for the women rising in the home to use during their time outdoors. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star file)
Vernon men’s mental health club gains independence

Before becoming its own society, Men’s Shed was under the wings of the CMHA

Paramjit Bogarh, connected to the murder of his wife in Vernon 35 years ago, has been relerased on full parole, one year after he was sentenced to five years in prison for accessory after the fact. (Contributed)
Full parole for ex-Vernon man who helped wife’s alleged killer escape

Paramjit Bogarh pleaded guilty to accessory to murder after helping brother flee Canada

Armstrong’s Len Wood Middle School was on lockdown Friday, March 5 after a student allegedly threatened a staff member with a weapon. (Morning Star file photo)
LOCKDOWN: Armstrong student allegedly threatens staff with weapon

RCMP called, no students were at risk, according to school

Ogopogo statue at Paul’s Tomb in Kelowna. (Colintube1 - YouTube)
Children’s author asks City of Vernon to use ‘Ogopogo’ in new book

The City of Vernon has held famed lake monster’s copyright for past 65 years

Okanagan College, Vernon campus. (Brendan Shykora - Vernon Morning Star)
Student housing coming to Vernon, Salmon Arm

Province announces $66M for new student beds for Okanagan College campuses

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Free Reformed Church is seen as people attend service, in Chilliwack, B.C., on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. Lawyers for the British Columbia government and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms are back in B.C. Supreme Court today, squaring off over the legality of COVID-19 rules that prohibit in-person religious services. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. top doctor has power to restrict access to a place during health hazard: lawyer

Under B.C.’s Public Health Act, Jacqueline Hughes says, Henry can restrict or prevent entry to a place

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
B.C. dentists and bus drivers want newly-approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

BC Dental Association says dentists and their teams cannot treat patients remotely

Most Read