Canada extends travel ban from India and Pakistan over COVID-19

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Canada has extended the travel ban for all direct passenger and business flights from India and Pakistan for another 30 days, until June 21, 2021.

A Canadian prohibition on direct passenger flights from India and Pakistan was extended until June 21 after additional Covid-19 instances were discovered in travellers arriving from the South Asian countries. 

The policy, which was first introduced on April 22, was set to expire on Saturday. 

At a press briefing, Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra said, “Our war against Covid-19 continues.” 

“Based on public health advice, Transport Canada issued a notice on April 22 banning all direct commercial and private passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days to decrease the possibility of Covid-19 and its variations being imported,” he added. “These measures will now be extended until June 21.” 

The number of positive Covid-19 cases coming on international aircraft has dropped significantly, according to the ministry. 

“This is not the ideal time to discuss reducing any border control procedures,” he said, citing public health advice. 

India’s coronavirus death toll becomes 3rd highest in world

More than 27 million Covid-19 cases have been reported and more than 300,000 people lost to the coronavirus in India, which has been seeing an alarming increase blamed on a double mutant form and super-spreader events. 

Only 1.8 percent of visitors to Canada tested positive for coronavirus last month, according to Ottawa. However, while India accounts for 20% of air travel to Canada, more than half of all adverse tests at the border were from flights arriving from the country. 

Pakistan was likewise tied to similar high numbers. 

Cargo flights carrying vaccines and protective equipment will continue to be allowed into Canada.

Quarantine is required for all visitors to Canada for 14 days. They must also show a negative Covid test before flying internationally and another once they arrive in Canada. 

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