Tue, 09 Mar 2021

OTTAWA, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Canada's updated restrictions against COVID-19 are on the way as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday urged the public to cancel non-essential travel plans both abroad and between provinces in the country.

Constantly evolving news about COVID-19 variants from other countries has spurred the government to consider sharpening the measures already in place and updated measures will be published very soon, Trudeau said.

"The bad choices of a few will never be allowed to put everyone else in danger," he said at a press conference in the capital city of Ottawa.

While the number of new cases linked to travel remains low, a single case imported from abroad is a case too many and the federal government is actively looking at ways to tighten the border, Trudeau said.

The government wants to ensure that any measures don't cut off the flow of trade, he said, noting that commercial flights coming into Canada from around the world might have non-essential travelers onboard, but essential cargo in the belly of the plane.

The border between Canada and the United States has been closed to non-essential travelers since March 2020, while international travelers flying into Canada must provide a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before boarding their flights.

However, it can't as easily bar the flow of Canadians in and out of the country.

Now all people are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before arriving in Canada and quarantine for 14 days at hotel instead of home.

Violations of any of these measures can result in charges under the Quarantine Act, with a maximum sentence of six months in jail or fines up to 75,000 Canadian dollars (nearly 59,000 U.S. dollars).

Overall, travel outside Canada has been deemed the primary cause of 1.4 percent of COVID-19 cases in Canada since the start of the pandemic, with contact with a traveler accounting for another 1 percent of cases.

As of Tuesday night, Canada has reported 757,022 COVID-19 cases with 19,403 deaths, according to CTV.

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