Effective April 22, 2021, Canada announced that all passenger flights from India and Pakistan will be suspended for at least 30-days. The announcement was made in an effort to stem the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Canada while also preventing or slowing the introduction of a new virus mutation identified in India earlier this year. While the Public Health Agency of Canada has not officially designated the virus mutation as a variant, B.1.617 as it is known, has already been detected in Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec.

According to the numbers, approximately 1.8 per cent of cases detected in Canada have entered via travelers, and half of air travelers that have tested positive for COVID-19 originated in India. As such, Canada has enacted a temporary suspension of all passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30-days, with extensions to the 30-day suspension likely. The new restrictions for nationals of India and Pakistan, coupled with existing travel restrictions for all foreign nationals entering Canada by air or land, are further expected to slow international travel and drastically reduce the number of temporary foreign workers permitted to travel to enter Canada over the next 30-days. However, nationals of India and Pakistan who hold Canadian work permits or have received work permit approval letters, may still be able to travel to Canada indirectly so long as they meet all other travel, entry, and immigration requirements.

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