Transport Canada to limit international arrivals to specific airports

·2 min read
Crowd of passengers waiting to check-in for their flight at Pearson International Airport in Ontario, Canada. Pearson International Airport is Canada's largest and busiest airport. (Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Transport Canada is banning cruise ships and restricting the number of airports that will allow overseas international arrivals in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau said at a press conference in Ottawa Friday that cruise ships with more than 500 people, including passengers and crew, will not be able to dock in Canada until at least July 1.

International flights to Canada will also be restricted to a smaller number of airports, but Garneau did not disclose which airports.

“We’re working out the specific airports at this time, but we believe that this is a precaution that we should take so that we concentrate overseas international passengers coming to Canada to a smaller number of airports,” Garneau said.

“We will have more details on that very shortly.”

A spokesperson for Transport Canada would not confirm when the ministry will announce what airports will continue accepting international travellers, but said that they “will be announced in due course.”

Toronto’s Pearson International Airport is Canada’s busiest airport, with approximately 50.5 million passengers arriving and departing there in 2019. About 18.5 million passengers flew to or from international destinations last year, while nearly 14 million flew to or from the United States.

A spokesperson from the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, which operates Pearson International, referred Yahoo Finance Canada to Transport Canada for comment. Vancouver International is the country’s second busiest airport, followed by Montreal’s Pierre Elliot Trudeau International.

Air Canada’s (AC) stock was down around 3 per cent shortly after Garneau made the announcement, around 12:20 p.m. ET. Transat’s (TRZ) stock was down less than 1 per cent at the same time.

Canadian airline stocks were pummelled on Thursday after the U.S. administration banned travel from Europe in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, sending markets around the world tumbling.

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