The Government of Canada extended restrictions on all flights from India and Pakistan in a bid to manage the elevated risk of imported COVID-19 cases into the country.
The Public Health Agency of Canada in a statement said “To continue managing the elevated risk of imported COVID-19 cases into Canada, the Government of Canada has extended the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) restricting all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India and Pakistan until June 21, 2021 at 23:59 EDT. “
The statement further added that the government is also extending the requirement for air passengers who depart India or Pakistan to Canada, via an indirect route, to obtain a COVID-19 pre-departure test from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada.
Omar Alghabra, the Minister of Transport said “As the number of COVID-19 cases remain disproportionally high in India and Pakistan, we have extended our flight restrictions and third country pre-departure testing requirements for these countries. These ongoing measures are in place to help protect Canadians, and manage the elevated risk of imported cases of COVID-19 and variants of concern into Canada during a time of increasing pressure on our health care system.”
Omar Alghabra, the Minister of Health said “We are extending the testing and quarantine measures at the border because they protect Canadians. As our health care system grapples with the third wave of the pandemic, our government will continue to adjust its response to COVID-19. I encourage all Canadians to get vaccinated when it’s their turn, and to keep following local public health measures.”
According to government statistics, positivity rates for those arriving by air stands at 1.7% and land (0.3%) remain very low. The measures have resulted in 96% less air traffic and a 90% drop in non-commercial traffic entering Canada by land, compared to pre-pandemic volumes.