February has arrived, but not much has changed for returning travelers. Despite the expected announcement from Ottawa last week, no date has yet been put forward for the entry into force of the main measures proposed by the federal government.
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The Trudeau government continues to work on the measures announced by the Prime Minister on Friday. If from Thursday, international arrivals will be concentrated at four airports, including Montreal-Trudeau, the federal government says that many details remain to be resolved before establishing the mandatory screening test and hotel stay at the expense of travelers .
The President of the Treasury Board, Jean-Yves Duclos affirms that “a lot of resources are needed to ensure [des voyageurs] during the three days [de la quarantaine]”.
Staff must be hired and trained to take charge of travelers and hotels remain to be identified. The Association Hôtellerie Québec, which brings together nearly 600 hotel establishments, indicates that no call for tenders has yet been launched and that no accommodation request has yet been made by Ottawa.
So it may not be before mid-February that the new measures will come into force. Something to relieve snowbirds who are thinking of rushing their return home.
The federal government is also defining the criteria for travel considered essential. Those traveling to attend a dying loved one’s bedside or for a funeral, for example, would not have to stay at a hotel.
The Bloc Québécois and the NDP believe that the measures are insufficient, since they will not prevent all non-essential travel.
“All that has changed is that those who want to travel to the South must now buy their tickets from an American company,” said Bloc member Kristina Michaud on Monday.
“Why does the Prime Minister not withhold non-essential flights from Canada?” Asked NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.
The government defends itself and replies that the measures put forward are “among the strictest in the world”.
The federal government also calls on Quebec to better monitor the quarantine of travelers, a job that has so far been poorly done by the province, according to Ottawa. The Sûreté du Québec can since Monday distribute statements of offense with a minimum fine of $ 1,000, plus $ 500 in costs.