Canada COVID-19: Air Canada extends flight ban from India to June 22

01:10  14 may  2021
01:10  14 may  2021 Source:   globalnews.ca

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Cargo flights will still be permitted in order to maintain shipments of essential supplies, such as vaccines and personal protective equipment, he said. Alghabra said air passengers who depart from India or Pakistan but arrive in Canada via a third country will need to produce a negative result on a COVID - 19 test taken at their last point of departure before being allowed to enter "New variants can spread even faster than before and our health system is feeling even more pressure than ever before." WATCH | Transport Minister on why the ban on flights from India and Pakistan wasn't done sooner

Canada is banning passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days amid concerns over rising COVID - 19 cases and a new virus mutation, says Transport Minister Omar Alghabra. In the last two weeks, more than 100 international flights landing in Canada have carried at least one positive COVID - 19 Health Minister Patty Hajdu said 1.8 per cent of cases detected so far are in travellers, but that eliminating direct travel from both India and Pakistan is intended to give health officials time to sequence and better understand the variant first detected in India . Half of air travellers that have

a large passenger jet flying through a cloudy blue sky: An Air Canada Airbus A220-300 jet airliner (C-GTZH) airborne on final approach for landing at Vancouver International Airport, Richmond, B.C. on Friday, May 7, 2021. © THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Bayne Stanley An Air Canada Airbus A220-300 jet airliner (C-GTZH) airborne on final approach for landing at Vancouver International Airport, Richmond, B.C. on Friday, May 7, 2021.

Air Canada has extended the flight ban from India to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but the federal government has not announced the same.

"We have further extended the suspension of our flights from India until June 22," Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick said in a statement.

"We did this in anticipation of the existing suspension on flights between the two countries being extended."

Read more: Canada banning flights from India, Pakistan for 30 days as COVID-19 cases soar

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Canada is banning direct flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days to help control the spread of new variants of Covid - 19 . The restriction, which comes into effect at 11:30 p.m. Ottawa time on Thursday, was made during a virtual news conference with five cabinet ministers. It came after India saw the world’s biggest one-day jump in coronavirus cases ever Some Canadian provinces have already recorded some cases of the Indian variant. Health Minister Patty Hajdu said India accounts for 20% of recent air travel volumes to Canada , but more than 50% of all positive tests conducted at the border.

We have regrouped all of Air Canada Cargo's COVID - 19 updates here for you to bookmark and stay up to date on all our initiatives to keep the global supply chain moving. AC Animal Restrictions. Air Canada Cargo accepts bookings for live animals, except for cats and dogs (PLP). Air Canada Cargo employees practice social distancing, wear gloves as part of their normal PPE, and are also encouraged to wash their hands regularly and avoid touching their face. We ask that our visitors do the same, and that anyone with a cough or any flu-like symptoms make alternate arrangements rather than visit us in

The flight ban from India and Pakistan was originally announced by the federal government April 22 and was set for 30 days. Air Canada does not operate flights to or from Pakistan.

Ministry of Transportation spokesperson Allison St. Jean said in a statement that the ministry is monitoring the COVID-19 situation in India and Pakistan closely and will determine next steps based on "evidence and advice of public health experts." She did not confirm whether the federal government will extend its ban.

"Any recent decisions announced by Air Canada are operational and made on their own accord," St. Jean said.

Video: COVID-19: India struggles to vaccinate citizens amid supply shortage

The ban was initially set to protect Canada from the B.1.617 COVID-19 variant spreading rapidly in India.

Domestic flights account for 80% of COVID-19 cases among air travellers

  Domestic flights account for 80% of COVID-19 cases among air travellers Between April and May, 226 domestic flights had passengers who tested positive for COVID-19 compared to 50 planes entering Canada from an international route, federal data shows.A Global News analysis on Monday of government information on exposure from air travel between April and May of this year showed that 226 domestic flights had at least one passenger who tested positive for COVID-19 compared to 50 planes entering Canada from an international route.

So why did the DGCA extend the ban ? According to senior government officials, the ban was extended because it was felt that it would take some more time for India to prepare before it can resume scheduled international operations. The resumption of international flights depends mainly on the destination country allowing Indian citizens into its borders, or removing travel restrictions that they put in place over the last few months. International flights : A status check on airlines operations as Covid - 19 lockdown lifts around the world.

The Canadian government has introduced a travel ban for passenger flights from India and Pakistan for the next 30 days due to growing concerns around the spread of COVID - 19 variants, beginning at 11:30 p.m. ET on Thursday. Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, revealed that flights from India account for 20 per cent of recent air travel volumes to Canada , but more than 50 per cent of positive tests conducted at the border. "A similarly high level of cases, compared to travel rate, have also been linked to Pakistan," Hajdu said.

Canada has not identified the variant as a "variant of concern" (VOC) yet but instead as a "variant of interest" — although the U.K. and the World Health Organization recently labelled it a VOC.

Canada's ban does not affect cargo flights and only applies to direct flights. Travellers from India can still enter the country indirectly, but they must present a negative COVID-19 test before departing for Canada.

The India variant has already been detected in B.C., Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.

Read more: U.K. deems variant first found in India as ‘variant of concern’

India is still grappling with the recent COVID-19 outbreak. Deaths in the country from the virus recently passed a quarter million, while nearly 400,000 new cases are reported daily.

At the time the federal government first announced the ban, half of air travellers arriving in Canada that had tested positive for COVID-19 had come from India, even though only one-fifth of flights were from the country, according to Health Minister Patty Hajdu.

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22 , all incoming international air travel is supposed to be directed through Toronto, Calgary, Montreal or Vancouver. The measure was put in place to control the spread of variants of the novel coronavirus. In addition to presenting a negative PCR test for COVID - 19 before entering Canada , all travellers The data from FlightAware reveals 1,618 private flights from international destinations to the four airports designated by the federal government as the only airports that can accept commercial international flights . By a wide margin, most of these flights (883) landed at Toronto's Pearson International Airport.

During the COVID - 19 pandemic, we strongly advise Canadians to cancel or postpone non-essential travel plans outside of Canada . Now is not the time to travel. People who travel by air , regardless of citizenship, will need to follow testing and quarantine requirements to keep Canadians safe, particularly given the new COVID - 19 variants in Canada and around the world. International travellers flying through Canada may not need to follow this checklist. See transit to another country by air .

However, since the ban, it has been revealed that 80 per cent of COVID-19 cases from all Canadian air travel came from domestic flights, according to federal data.

A Global News analysis also found 226 domestic flights had at least one COVID-19 case aboard, compared to 50 international flights entering Canada, between April and May.

Video: WHO classifies COVID-19 variant first identified in India as being of global concern

There are currently no federal bans on domestic flight travel.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for additional travel measures, such as a mandatory quarantine from entering the country via land.

— With files from Reuters, David Lao, Saba Aziz, Rachel Gilmore and Amanda Connelly

U.K. urges caution on COVID-19 variant first seen in India. Should Canadians worry? .
A COVID-19 variant first identified in India is spreading rapidly in England, but Canadian experts say so far, there's no evidence that it can easily get past vaccines.There’s reason to worry about this variant in Canada, experts say, though they add that so far, it hasn’t been proven to get past our vaccines.

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