Canada extends India flight ban, eases restriction for Pakistan

From City News 1130 – link to source story

BY HANA MAE NASSAR AND DEAN RECKSIEDLER | Jun 21, 2021

FILE. (iStock image)

SUMMARY

  • The ban on flights from India to Canada is being extended until at least July 21
  • Based on public health data, Canada not renewing ban on flights from Pakistan
  • The suspension of flights from India and Pakistan was first announced in April

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Canada is extending its ban on direct travel from India amid a continued concern over that country’s COVID-19 situation.

The ban is being extended by at least another month, until July 21, as India struggles to get its pandemic numbers under control.

“This means that direct, commercial, and private passenger flights from India will continue to be denied permission to arrive in Canada,” said Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra Monday. “Passengers who depart from India, bound for Canada via an indirect route must still obtain a valid COVID-19 test result from a third country before boarding a flight to Canada.”

Transport Minister @OmarAlghabra announces the passenger flight ban with India is extended for another 30 days.
However the restrictions on flights from Pakistan will not be renewed, so flights can soon resume. #cdnpoli

— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) June 21, 2021

While the restrictions on travel from India remain in place, Alghabra says those limiting flights from Pakistan are being scaled back.

“Based on the public health data, we will not be renewing the flight ban between Canada and Pakistan,” he said. “Air travellers from Pakistan will be required to obtain a COVID-19 molecular test in Pakistan to board a flight to Canada.”

The suspension of flights from India and Pakistan was first announced in April. The measures were extended by another month in May.

Monday’s announcement comes the same day Canada unveiled more details on its plans to ease quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers permitted entry into this country. Those changes are set to take effect at 11:59 p.m. EDT on July 5.

While Canadians continue to be urged to avoid all non-essential travel, the transport minister promised an update would be coming.

“As the situation evolves, we will respond with new and adjusted border measures as needed, to keep Canadians safe and the economy running,” Alghabra added, noting he will be working with international, provincial, territorial, and industry partners to “determine next steps later this summer.”

“This could include expanding the number of Canadian airports that are eligible to receive international flights, and I hope to have more to share with you soon.”

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair also said discussions are ongoing “with the aim of allowing for non-essential travel of fully vaccinated foreign nationals into Canada in the coming months.”