In a press conference this morning, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the four major Canadian airlines—Air Canada, WestJet, Sun Wing, and Air Transat—will be suspending service to Mexico and the Caribbean between Jan. 31 and April 30. The measure is an effort to stop people from traveling and potentially spreading the coronavirus.
"With the challenges, we currently face with COVID-19, both here at home and abroad, we all agree that now is just not the time to be flying," said Trudeau during the conference. "By putting in place these tough measures now, we can look forward to a better time when we can plan all those vacations."
When the pandemic struck last year, Canadians traveling abroad for spring break—many of whom were visiting sunny destinations like Mexico and the Caribbean—brought back the virus when they returned home. This year, Trudeau faced pressure to prevent the same scenario from happening, likely leading to these new flight restrictions.
The Prime Minister also put into effect testing and quarantine rules for any international travelers arriving in Canada. They must be tested upon arrival (at their own expense), then quarantine at a government-sanctioned hotel for up to three days (also at their own expense) until their results arrive.
In the same conference, Trudeau also announced that Canada would be receiving fewer Moderna coronavirus vaccines in its next shipment than anticipated—instead of 230,000 doses, Canada will receive just 180,000 next week. The decrease is due to production delays at a manufacturing plant in Switzerland, which will impact vaccine delivery to numerous countries worldwide. However, the United States will not be affected by these delays, as its doses are being produced at American plants.