Travel to Canada continues to be down from year before: CBSA
TORONTO -- As more countries reopen their borders to international travel following months of restrictions, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) says there continues to be a significant drop in travellers arriving in Canada, compared with the same time last year.
New data released Tuesday shows there was a 95 per cent decrease in passengers arriving at Canadian airports between June 29 to July 5, when compared to the same period the year before.
From July 1-7, 2019, there were 836,091 travellers arriving in Canada by air. A year later, from June 29 to July 5, there were only 44,672 arrivals at airports, according to the CBSA.
On July 5 alone, the CBSA found travellers on U.S. flights were down 96 per cent and international air travellers were down 93 per cent compared to the previous year.
The Canada-U.S. border was closed to all non-essential travel on March 21, with limited exceptions, in an effort to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus between the two countries. The federal government has extended the current ban until at least July 21.
Despite the border closure, the CBSA previously reported an increase in those travelling by air into Canada from the end of May to the end of June, prompting the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to increase the presence of public health officials performing health scans at border crossings.
As for land border crossings from June 29 to July 5, the CBSA said there was a 91 per cent drop from the year before with 1,637,461 land travellers arriving that week in 2019 to just 154,875 a year later.
The CBSA noted that there was no difference in the number of truck drivers entering Canada from June 29 to July 5. No restrictions have been placed on commercial shipments and the agency said it has not seen any indication of issues with supply chains into Canada for essential goods, including food and medical supplies.
"CBSA is working with other federal partners to share information with commercial stakeholders to provide assurances that commercial traffic continues," the agency said in a press release.
Under the Quarantine Act, anyone arriving in Canada by air or land must self-isolate for 14 days to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Travellers are also required to complete a contact tracing form at their point of entry so PHAC can monitor and enforce the isolation requirement.
The CBSA said the data for the week of June 29 to July 5 is consistent with their earlier numbers, which have shown a steady decline in air and land travel to Canada in comparison to the same periods in 2019.