OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is leaving the door open to tighter travel restrictions, including a possible ban on outbound air travel.
Trudeau says the government is “always open to strengthening” measures around international flights, and is keeping an eye on countries where more easily transmissible strains of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 have broken out.
At a news conference Friday, Trudeau pointed to worrisome mutations in Brazil as well as the United Kingdom, whose outbound flights Canada banned before implementing a strict new testing requirement on all passengers entering the country.
Trudeau says the choice of whether to bar travel to the United States lies largely with the U.S., not Canada, since the country of arrival has jurisdiction over who enters.
Earlier this month, a survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies found that 87 per cent of respondents said they would support a total ban on international travel until there are several consecutive days of reduced numbers of COVID-19 cases.
Leger vice-president Christian Bourque said that response is consistent with similar questions asked throughout the pandemic, but also reflects a growing desire by Canadians for governments to take stronger action to curb the spread of COVID-19.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021.