china travel advisory canada

Canada still hasn't issued a countrywide travel advisory to China

Canadians are now being officially advised to avoid all travel to China's Hubei province amidst the coronavirus outbreak — but the government still hasn't issued a countrywide travel advisory.

With the United States issuing a Level 3 travel warning for the entire country of China, many Canadians are beginning to question why Justin Trudeau isn't doing more.

Some people are urging the Prime Minister to issue a warning that applies to all of China.

And other Canadians are advising Trudeau to look to the U.S. as an example.

So why hasn't Canada issued a countrywide advisory?

The answer could lie in the aviation industry.

Air Canada — Canada's leading airline — generated a cool $16.2 billion in passenger revenue last year. And with direct routes to Beijing, Shanghai, and Wuhan, Air Canada risks losing hundreds of thousands of dollars by issuing refunds to travellers.

That's where the government comes in.

Following the White House's official travel advisory, U.S. airlines are being pressured into giving customers full refunds for their flights to Wuhan. They're also offering customers flying to China the option of altering their flights at no additional cost.

Air Canada, in contrast, is not offering full refunds — and they're limiting which flights can be changed.

The airline has similarly avoided making any public statements, encouraging frustrated customers to DM them instead.

If Canada issued a countrywide travel advisory to China, it could majorly damage the tourism sector.

With many Canadians pressuring the government to suspend all travel to China, Trudeau has a number of important decisions to make in the next few days.

Lead photo by

Mussi Katz

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