Last week, Tuesday, Jan. 26, Premier Pallister announced that the public health orders would be amended on Jan. 29 to specify that anyone entering Manitoba from anywhere in Canada will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

These orders now include those entering from northern and Western Canada, and from west of Terrace Bay in Ontario, which under previous health orders did not require self-isolation. Exemptions to self-isolation measures are still in effect, and include those traveling for essential interprovincial work, people travelling for medical purposes, and people who regularly travel to and from communities near the borders for essential purposes. Failure to self-isolate in accordance with public health advice is a violation of the order and is enforceable under the Public Health Act.

Meanwhile, today, the governments of Canada and Manitoba signed an agreement that will ensure air services to remote northern communities continue through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government of Canada is contributing up to $12,031,000 for the province to allocate to air operators to address losses from the period of July 1 to Dec. 31, 2020. The agreement will maintain scheduled transportation service to 21 remote communities that rely on air service as the only year-round mode of transportation to ensure the continued supply of food, medical supplies and other essential goods and services.

At the federal level, on Jan. 29, in an effort to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and reduce air travel-related spread of new variants throughout Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tightened restrictions for outbound travel as well as for those arriving to Canada from international destinations. To see all air travel regulations, click here.

  • As of Jan. 31, the government and Canada’s airlines have agreed to suspend all flights to and from Mexico and Caribbean countries until April 30, 2021.
  • Everyone planning to fly to Canada, should first determine suitability. If you’ve determined you can travel to Canada at this time, you must use ArriveCAN to submit information before you board your flight.
  • All air travellers 5 years of age or older, regardless of citizenship, must provide proof of a negative laboratory molecular test result for COVID-19 to the airline before boarding. The PCR test must be taken no more than 72 hours prior to boarding.
  • Effective midnight Feb. 3, 2021, Transport Canada will expand the existing international flight restrictions which funnel scheduled international commercial passenger flights into four Canadian airports: Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport. The new restrictions will include scheduled commercial passenger flights arriving from the United States, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and South America, which were exempted from the previous restriction. Private/Business and charter flights from all countries will also be required to land at the four airports. Flights from Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon and cargo-only flights will remain exempt.
  • As soon as possible in the coming weeks, all air travellers arriving in Canada, with very limited exceptions, must reserve a room in a Government of Canada-approved hotel for three nights at their own cost, and take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival at their own cost. More details will be available in the coming days.

“We fully accept that we must do whatever is necessary to protect Manitobans and all Canadians from increased risks of transmission,” says Chuck Davidson, MCC President & CEO. “However, this next level of restrictions will deal another devastating blow to our airlines and to our local YWG airport, which has already endured a 95% decrease in revenues. We join our Canadian Chamber of Commerce colleagues in calling for a sector-specific emergency fund for the aviation industry, or there simply won’t be an industry left to help us travel when exploring the planet is possible once again.”

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