Interprovincial travel ban may be on the way for parts of Canada
As daily hospital occupancy and daily COVID-19 case counts surge in provinces like Ontario and B.C., governments are mulling over further pandemic restrictions, including an interprovincial travel ban that would limit the movement of people into and out of certain parts of the country.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has already expressed his support for the idea, citing the success that Atlantic provinces and Arctic territories — which have fared extremely well over the course of the health crisis — have had with tightening their borders and dissuading visits from out-of-towners.
It's a stance that is garnering some criticism, given that he just got rid of specific COVID-19 screening for passengers coming in from Brazil, the home of one of the new variants of concern, and continues to let non-residents into the country while other nations have greatly benefited from far stricter criteria for entrance.
Great, restrict interprovincial travel while allowing-even reducing restrictions for international travellers from hot-spot countries. How much worse can Justin Trudeau make the pandemic?— Lesley (@dormaus25) April 15, 2021
B.C. Premier John Horgan said earlier this week that he hasn't taken travel restrictions off the table and that he's open to the concept, but admitted that enforcement may be difficult and impractical.
"If [Provincial Health Officer] Dr. Henry believes that there's an opportunity for us to use some form of border restrictions, we'll look at this," Horgan said in a news conference on Tuesday, where it was revealed that he and his team may be announcing such measures as soon as Thursday.
Looks like we could see Interprovincial travel shut down real soon. B.C. doesn't want Albertan's crossing their border. The cases have surged there. It seems that Albertan's are bringing more cases of P1 variant there with visits. This is extremely sad, I feel like I'm in jail pic.twitter.com/zo9rdflt7J— kristina Sanderson (@kristin24184914) April 15, 2021
Officials in Quebec, meanwhile, have likewise been urging for some type of controls at their border, such as adding a quarantine period for people coming in from Ontario, which is seeing record high daily infection rates of upwards of 4,000 new patients.
"We're encouraging all residents of each province to stay at home, not to be flying not to be flying into Ontario or out of Ontario. It's just not the time to do that," Ontario Premier Doug Ford said at a presser on Wednesday.
The Maritimes closed their borders to interprovincial travel, and haven't had the same restrictions. Canada won't even close the borders to known areas of variants. Maybe that should be resolved instead of stay at home orders.— BFed (@brttfdrw) April 15, 2021
If health experts get their wish, it is unclear whether this would include things like enforcement presence at land crossings, a suspension of some domestic flights, and/or additional quarantine measures for entrants from other parts of Canada, the latter of which provinces like Manitoba and those on the east coast are already doing.
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