Trudeau to announce new measures to discourage international travel

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will unveil new measures today to discourage international travel to prevent new, more infectious variants of the coronavirus from entering Canada, according to a government source speaking on background.

The source said Canadians can expect to see Ottawa strengthen existing travel restrictions.

Trudeau is expected to announce the details during a press conference outside his home at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Earlier this week, Trudeau hinted the government was working “carefully and diligently” on new measures, as calls from opposition leaders and premiers for additional pandemic measures continue to mount.

A lone passenger stands outside the international arrivals area at Pearson Airport in Toronto on Jan. 26. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

Quebec Premier Francois Legault has been urging the federal government to make anyone returning from abroad quarantine for two weeks in a hotel, at their own expense.

Canada has had a ban on non-essential travel into the country by anyone who isn’t a citizen or permanent resident since March, but banning the flow of Canadians in and out of the country is a thornier task.

People who return from abroad for non-essential reasons must quarantine for two weeks, or risk hefty financial penalties or jail time. Most travellers must also now show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before arriving in Canada.

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