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Vancouverites react to new Canada-wide travel measures, including $2,000 hotel stays

"Too little too late."
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Metro Vancouverites are expressing mixed reactions to the Canadian government's new international travel measures. 

Metro Vancouverites are expressing mixed reactions to the Canadian government's new international travel measures. 

Earlier today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government is suspending all flights to Mexico and the Caribbean in a bid to thwart variants of COVID-19 from entering the country.

Additionally, Trudeau stated that all international travellers will only be able to land at airports in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal beginning next week. 

The government will also require entrants to Canada to quarantine in a hotel on arrival, costing them more than $2,000, Trudeau said. If travellers test negative for COVID-19 after three days, they will be allowed to quarantine at home, albeit under increased surveillance.

B.C. Premier John Horgan said he supported the new measures, and that he will work with the federal government to implement them in the province.

In a statement, the premier noted that the new measures will "strengthen the health and safety screenings at our borders and help keep British Columbians and all Canadians safer."

But not all British Columbians share Horgan's glowing praise of the new travel rules. 

Numerous people took to social media today to share their frustration with the travel measures, with many people stating that the rules are not strict enough, while others say it is simply too late. 

"Too little too late"

Twitter user Tania @Tania67356445 remarks that she's thrilled Canada is enacting stricter measures but notes that "I think we need to look at Europe as well to stop travel to/from."

Similarly, Ghanta Farak Padta Hai @ashsharma75 feels that the measures are "too little too late" and "if they are serious about curbing travel it would have been mandatory 14 days in hotel on person's own expense, not 3 days."

And while many Metro Vancouverites are supportive of the new measures or would prefer more comprehensive rules, others express worry that the government won't make exceptions or that that the measures will be in place longer than they should. 

Mr. M @19828384 asks, "Not travelling now but if so then only [for a] family emergency. What considerations has the government made for that? Exemptions must be in place for that, especially since negative test prior to flying already in place."

He also states that he's "Very concerned these rules will stay on the books a long time without review should the situation improve. Where is the balance between measures and our Charter rights?"

And alpha tango @alphata14691539 agrees: "This was my exact thought as well. Sometimes, once a move is made/played, you don’t ever get to go back. This is actually pretty scary. As Canadians, we should all be very concerned.

Of course, some locals are simply baffled by the cost of a stay in a hotel. 

"Why do 3 days in a hotel cost $2000? Should be more like $ 500-600!" says Rita @Ladamedemocracy.

New travel rules the 'nail in the coffin' for airlines, tourism industry, experts say

New restrictions on flights from the Caribbean and Mexico announced Friday are likely to trigger bankruptcies in Canada's airline sector and force permanent closures for airports and travel agencies, aviation experts say.

"Today’s announcement really was the nail in the coffin for the airline and tourism business," said Robert Kokonis, founder and managing director of aviation consulting firm AirTrav Inc. "We’re going to see bankruptcy filings, you might even see a few outright failures."

John Gradek, a lecturer at McGill University and the head of its Global Aviation Leadership Program, said Sunwing and Transat A.T. Inc. are most at risk of bankruptcy, given their reliance on flights to sun destinations.

--With files from Tyler Orton and the Canadian Press.