Canada is ending its ban on flights from the UK as the new variant of the coronavirus continues to spread within UK borders.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau confirmed the development at a press conference on Wednesday.
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“The UK flight ban, which lasted until midnight tonight, will expire. It will no longer be applicable, ”Garneau said.
“We made this decision based on the fact that we have now put in place, since that initial ban, a pre-departure testing protocol… to replace the ban that existed for the UK and that applies , of course, to all countries in the world from where flights can come to Canada. ”
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UK enters national lockdown, as COVID-19 variant continues to spread
New travel restrictions are expected to take effect on January 7, which would require anyone traveling to Canada to show a negative coronavirus test result before boarding the plane. While the move has thrown the industry and passengers into a spin as they grapple with the new rules, federal officials hope the move will catch up with some cases that might otherwise have entered Canada unnoticed.
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Meanwhile, 11 cases of the COVID-19 variant – which are spreading faster than the original variant – have been discovered on Canadian soil.
The variant was found to be between 50 and 70% more infectious than the original coronavirus that spread around the world. This reality has forced the UK to take extreme measures, including imposing a third country-wide lockdown, as the BBC reports that up to one in 50 people in the UK could be infected. by the virus.
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Speaking on Tuesday, public health official Theresa Tam said avoiding all non-essential international travel – from the UK and elsewhere – was an important tool in stemming the spread of the virus.
“Mutations in the virus can happen all the time, and these worrisome variants… can actually appear in different parts of the world, not just the UK,” Tam said.
In addition to these measures, Canada has implemented a mandatory 14-day quarantine since March 2020, requiring all people entering the country from abroad to stop for two weeks.
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The prime minister also strongly advised against all non-essential travel – a message he reiterated at a press conference on Tuesday.
“No one should be going on vacation abroad at this time,” said Justin Trudeau.
“So many people have given up on more than just vacations over vacations. There is a reason why so many Canadians have made these difficult but responsible decisions. There is a reason why so many Canadians did their part. It was for the people around them.
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