Canada extends ban on flights from India, Pakistan

Ban on commercial and private flights extended to June 24

Vancouver International Airport | Photo: Rob Kruyt, BIV

The federal government is extending its ban on commercial and privates flights entering Canada from India and Pakistan amid surging COVID-19 cases and variants in the South Asian countries.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra revealed Friday the 30-day ban, initially introduced April 22, would now be extended to June 24.

Ottawa is also extending the third-country pre-departure testing requirements for India and Pakistan.

“This means that passengers who depart from India or Pakistan, bound for Canada via an indirect route must obtain a valid COVID-19 test results from a third country … before boarding a flight to Canada,” Alghabra said.

“We know that this is not the right time to loosen any measures right now.”

Alghabra said border restrictions during the pandemic has resulted in a 96% reduction in air traffic and an 82% reduction in land traffic.