Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a new agreement with airlines to suspend travel to the Caribbean and Mexico due to Covid-19.
The country’s main airlines, including Air Canada and WestJet, will end service immediately and organise return travel for those currently abroad.
The government will also mandate new testing and three-day quarantine periods upon arrival in Canada.
It comes amid reports of many Canadians travelling internationally this winter.
“New variants of Covid-19 pose a real challenge to Canada,” said Mr Trudeau on Friday. “That’s why we need to take extra measures.”
He announced Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing and Air Transat have all agreed to suspend their flights to those popular so-called “sun destinations” until 30 April.
All visitors must take a mandatory Covid PCR test when they arrive at the airport – in addition to the pre-boarding test that is already required – and stay at government-approved hotels on their own dime for up to three days as they await the results.
The prime minister said it could cost travellers more than C$2,000 ($1,560; £1,140) for the hotel stay.
Those who test negative can complete the remainder of their two-week quarantine period at home, but “those with positive tests will be immediately required to quarantine in designated government facilities to make sure they’re not carrying variants of potential concern”, said Mr Trudeau.
He made clear the new moves are intended to discourage all unnecessary and vacation travel, not just to Mexico and the Caribbean.
“With the challenges we currently face with Covid-19, both here at home and abroad, we all agree that now is just not the time to be flying,” said Mr Trudeau.
“By putting in place these tough measures now, we can look forward to a better time, when we can all plan those vacations.”