Fresh Takes

Restoring the Freedom to Travel

As Europe opens its doors to travellers, Canadian authorities are slow to follow suit. The official discourse has minimized air travel’s importance as if it were an indulgence that one could easily go without. This apparent relegation from air transport is entirely out of touch with the reality of the situation.

Indeed, air travel has drastically risen in popularity in recent decades. About 1.75 billion passengers flew last year. In the globalized world we live in today, families are often scattered across several continents, and flying is the only way to get together.

Current restrictions, such as mandatory quarantine on return, make most of the previously popular trips undesirable. They are also a serious obstacle to freedom of movement and represent a massive sacrifice for those who would like to be at the bedside of a sick relative, attend the wedding of a close friend or take a well-deserved vacation abroad.

Given the evolution of the number of deaths attributable to COVID-19, we must immediately move away from strict and broad public health measures that are no longer justified and adopt more flexible and targeted measures as the European community has already done. After all, travelling to a country with an equivalent or lesser number of cases than Canada’s should not be considered a risk factor.

Furthermore, let us also remember that the medical community will always be there in the “post-COVID-19 world” to take charge of the health of travellers, as they have always done until now.

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