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Passengers wearing face masks are seen at Vancouver International Airport. Photo: Xinhua/Liang Sen via Getty Images

The Canadian government on Friday imposed fresh restrictions on international travel, banning flights to and from Mexico and Caribbean countries starting Sunday through at least April 30.

The state of play: The constraints also make it mandatory for travelers arriving in Canada to quarantine "in a Government of Canada-approved hotel for three nights" and to get tested upon arrival at their own expense.

  • All international flights — commercial, private and charter — are to land at four specific Canadian airports and travelers are required to have tested negative pre-departure. The government will introduce mandatory PCR testing at those airports for individuals returning to Canada, AP writes, citing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
  • Travelers entering the country by land will also be required to get tested 72 hours before arrival. Commercial truck drivers are exempt from this rule.
  • Canadian health officials said tests will be required on the 10th day after a traveler's return into the country, per AP.
  • Already the country requires travelers to self-isolate for 14 days and present a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days before arrival to Canada.

What they're saying: "The Government of Canada continues to take unprecedented action to protect the health and safety of Canadians by introducing measures to prevent further introduction and transmission of COVID-19 and new variants of the virus into Canada," the news release for the order says.

  • "Travelers will ... have to wait for up to three days at an approved hotel for their test results, at their own expense, which is expected to be more than $2,000," Trudeau said Friday, per AP.
  • "Those with negative test results will then be able to quarantine at home under significantly increased surveillance and enforcement."

Go deeper

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

WHO says most pregnant women can now receive coronavirus vaccine

A doctor administering Moderna's coronavirus vaccine at a university hospital in Essen, Germany, on Jan. 18. Photo: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

The World Health Organization has altered its guidance for pregnant women who wish to receive the coronavirus vaccine, saying now that those at high risk of exposure to the COVID-19 or who have comorbidities that increase their risk of severe disease, may be vaccinated.

Why it matters: The WHO drew backlash for its previous guidance that did not recommend pregnant women be inoculated with vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, even though data indicated that pregnancy increased the risk of developing severe illness from the virus.