Canadian airlines to cancel flights to Mexico and the Caribbean
Canada's major airlines agreed to suspend, starting Sunday, all flights to Mexico and the Caribbean until April 30 in a bid to contain coronavirus cases, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday.
The authority added that all airline passengers landing in Canada will have to undergo a coronavirus test at the airport and then wait in a hotel until the results come back. Mexico is the third country in the world with the most deaths from COVID-19.
"The government and Canada's major airlines agreed to suspend service to beach destinations immediately," Trudeau told reporters.
"With the challenges, we are currently facing from COVID-19, both here at home and abroad, we all agree that now is not the time to fly," he added.
Only four airports will be open for international return flights - Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal. Canadians returning home from the U.S. by land will have to show a negative test result for the coronavirus to gain entry.
Governments around the world are adding new travel restrictions, requirements, and bans amid renewed fears over the spread of a more contagious and potentially vaccine-resistant variant of the coronavirus that was first identified in South Africa.
In addition, Trudeau said Canada would receive less vaccine from Moderna than expected in next week's delivery, but the U.S. firm said it is still on track to administer two million doses in the first quarter as promised.
Pfizer, which is remodeling a plant in Europe, will not deliver vaccines to Canada this week, and on Thursday the provinces protested when they were told they would receive less vaccine than expected in the coming weeks.
Trudeau reported that he spoke with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla for the second time in a week and was assured that Canada would still receive the promised four million doses in the first quarter.