Canada Mandates Quarantines, Suspends Caribbean & Mexico Flights

In a blow to airlines and hotels, Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has announced new travel restrictions that are sure to dampen demand for travel and new bookings. The restrictions limit flights to sun destinations and mandate quarantines at approved hotels for returning travelers.

Air Canada and WestJet Getty
Air Canada and WestJet have agreed to suspend flights to the Caribbean and Mexico at the Canadian government’s request. Photo: Getty Images

Canada’s new traveler requirements

Prime Minister Trudeau announced the following new measures:

  • Working with airlines, flights to sun destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico have been suspended until April 30th
  • Limiting international flights to Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal
  • Mandatory testing at the airport
  • Inbound travelers will need to quarantine at a hotel for three days, at their own expense, at an approved hotel
  • After receiving a negative test result, passengers will need to quarantine at home under increased surveillance and enforcement
  • Positive results will be quarantining in designated governmental spaces to ensure they are not carrying variants

According to Prime Minister Trudeau, the total cost of mandatory testing at the airport and quarantines at hotels is expected to cost over C$2,000 (~$1500). You can watch his briefing below:

These new measures are in addition to the mandated preflight testing Canada requires and the shutdown of most foreign nationals’ entry.

Transport Canada, Boeing 737 MAX, Recertified
Coming soon, inbound international travelers will need to arrive in one of four airports. Photo: Getty Images

Airlines suspend flights

Canadian airlines agreed to suspend flights from Sunday to sun destinations at the request of the Canadian government.

Air Canada has announced suspended operations to the following destinations:

  • Cayo Coco, Cuba
  • Cancun, Mexico
  • Liberia, Costa Rica
  • Montego Bay, Jamaica
  • Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  • Varadero, Cuba
  • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • Antigua
  • Aruba
  • Barbados
  • Kingston, Jamaica
  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • Nassau, The Bahamas
  • Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
  • San Jose, Costa Rica
Air Canada
Air Canada has agreed to suspend flights from the Caribbean and Mexico in what will be a financially painful move in an already difficult environment. Photo: Getty Images

WestJet has agreed to suspend flights to 14 destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean:

  • Puerto Vallarta (including Swoop flights)
  • Cancun (including Swoop flights)
  • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • Liberia
  • Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Marten
  • Nassau
  • Bermuda
  • Mazatlan, Mexico (operated by Swoop)
  • Montego Bay (operating by Swoop)
WestJet, Halifax, Manchester
WestJet has a history of flying leisure travelers to the Caribbean. Photo: Getty Images

Air Transat has completely suspended its regular operations from January 29th until April 30th.

These carriers will be working to organize repatriation flights for people who are abroad and want to come home to Canada. Airlines will work with affected customers to figure out the best course of action for them.

A worsening situation for Canadian airlines

Canadian airlines have been in a tough spot for many months. The Caribbean and Mexico were some of the few places where there was some demand for international travel. Through the busy spring break, Canadian carriers will not transport passengers to and from those destinations. For those who are abroad and want to get back to Canada, keep an eye out for repatriation flight announcements

Westjet 737
The difficult crisis continues for Canadian airlines. Photo: Getty Images

Canada has not taken the full measures Australia has, which has mandated quarantines for arriving passengers for 14 days or Hong Kong’s 21-day quarantine at a designated hotel. However, the country’s 14-day quarantine mandate split between a hotel and home is one of the stricter restrictions in the world.

The vaccine rollout has been slow around the world, and the discovery of new variants has kept health officials on high alert as the pandemic continues to drag on and many countries continue to see high case numbers. In many ways, 2021 continues to be a difficult year for travel.

What do you make of Canada’s new entry restrictions for international arrivals? Let us know in the comments!