Canada extends ban on international travellers to July 31
Canada has extended the incumbent ban on international travellers until July 31 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to authorities.
"The government remains committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians and reducing the spread of Covid-19 in Canada," Xinhua news agency quoted the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) as saying on Tuesday.
Canada implemented a series of measures, including the ban on entry to all travellers who are not Canadian citizens and permanent residents, to stem the spread of Covid-19 in mid-March.
The ban, which also allows the immediate family members of Canadian citizens, diplomats and aircrews to come into Canada, expired on Tuesday night.
The ban exempts the US, which entered into a separate agreement with Canada shortly after the halt on all other foreign travel.
The agreement, which prohibits non-essential travel between Canada and the US, remains in effect until July 21.
Under the agreement, essential workers, such as truckers and health workers, are allowed to cross the border.
Tuesday's extension comes after the European Union agreed to allow tourists from 15 countries to enter the EU beginning tomorrow.
Canada is one of the 15 countries on a safe list, while the US has been excluded.
Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dismissed a proposal to relax the ban on international travellers, saying that moving too quickly could spark a second wave of the coronavirus in Canada.
The Trudeau government has also renewed the Quarantine Act requiring travellers to isolate for 14 days upon their arrival in Canada.
The act has been extended to August 31.
Meanwhile, Air Canada announced that it was indefinitely suspending service of 30 domestic routes and closing eight stations at regional airports across the country.
"These structural changes to Air Canada's domestic regional network are being made as a result of continuing weak demand for both business and leisure travel due to Covid-19 and provincial and federal government-imposed travel restrictions and border closures, which are diminishing prospects for a near-to-mid-term recovery," the flag carrier said on Tuesday.
Most of the route suspensions will occur in the provinces of The Maritimes, Ontario and Quebec, with a handful of closures affecting western routes between Saskatchewan and Ottawa, reports Xinhua news agency.
It said the airline industry will need a minimum of three years to fully recover, therefore other changes to its services and schedule, and further suspensions will be considered in the coming weeks to reduce its cost.