Canadians are stranded all around the world and they might not be able to get back
With border restrictions now in place all over the globe and carriers cancelling popular routes left right and centre, those still currently out of the country are now wondering how and when they will be able to return home.
Thousands of Canadians are aboard 70 cruise ships worldwide at the moment, and there have been accounts of citizens stuck in international locales such as Spain, Peru, Morocco, Guatemala, Ecuador, Cuba, Italy, Russia, Panama, Uruguay, the Philippines and more.
Thankfully for those overseas, the federal government has confirmed that it's working with commercial airlines and other nations to repatriate as many people as possible — one Air Canada flight just brought hundreds of individuals home from Morocco this past weekend, and more planes are due to be sent to other countries in the coming days.
OFFICIAL ADVISORY TO CANADIANS ABROAD:— François-Philippe Champagne (FPC) 🇨🇦 (@FP_Champagne) March 22, 2020
Just finished speaking with Foreign Ministers of #Cuba, #Ecuador & #Uruguay. They offered their help for Canadian travellers stranded to return home.
Register here: https://t.co/BQelLKjTAf@CanEmbCuba @CanadaEcuador @CanEmbUruguay pic.twitter.com/M3njqNJMNo
But, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Saturday that officials are unlikely to be able to get everyone back due to lockdowns and travel bans in various countries.
"Factors like the number of Canadians there, airspace closures and the local situation are being taken into account," Trudeau stated in a release. "We won't be able to reach everyone, but we're going to do our best to help those we can."
Anyone showing flu-like symptoms will not be allowed to board any of the flights, and as with anyone who's travelled recently, all new arrivals will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Also, though the government will help out with "extra costs," passengers on these planes will be expected to pay for their air travel.
Ottawa is planning, however, to eventually offer up to $5,000 to any Canadians who still end up trapped internationally to try and secure their own flight home, or stay where they are to wait things out.
Great take on why Canadian travelers stranded abroad shouldn’t be judged so quickly: things really changed in a matter of days. https://t.co/yhiy5OfHIk— Loïc Bisson (@loicbisson) March 22, 2020
Even within Canada, new rules for travel are being set — international travel has been limited to four airports, the Canada-U.S. border has been closed to non-essential travel, the Northwest Territories is implementing its own ban on non-essential travel and Trudeau has asked people to avoid non-essential travel between provinces.
Basically, as everyone has been advising for days — advice many should have heeded earlier — please just stay home.
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