Air travellers landing in Canada will have to quarantine in a hotel, at their own expense, starting Feb. 22, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday, as the federal government tries to curb the spread of the new, more transmissible variants of the COVID-19 virus.
The enforcement date comes two weeks after the federal government said air travellers returning from non-essential trips abroad will have to isolate in a federally mandated facility for up to 72 hours while they await the results of a polymerase chain reaction test, commonly known as a PCR test.
Trudeau said the measures are in place to keep Canadians safe, particularly given the threat of the emerging variants.
“We’re trying to keep people safe and keeping Canadians safe from the viruses and discouraging all nonessential travel and ensuring that if people do have to travel, they’re doing the things that we can be certain are going to prevent the virus from spreading,” he told reporters outside Rideau Cottage Friday.
“We’re aware that that we need to be thoughtful and compassionate about people who are in extremely difficult situations and absolutely need to travel. We’re not trying to punish people.”