By Frank Martin
Canadians have for decades have been highly prized visitors to the tourism Caribbean industry and other southern countries.
But today they have practically disappeared.
The perverse “magician” who has made them invisible is the Covid-19 epidemic.
Canada is developing a rigorous closure of frontiers for its nationals in 2021 because of the global pandemic.
February has been an intense month for the northern country in terms of restrictions aimed at winning the war against Covid-19.
During this month the wide Canadian border with United States, the country most affected by the epidemic, was closed.
A Canadian warning is that these borders will remain closed until a stable improvement in the epidemiological situation in the neighboring country is observed.
At the end of January and after a rather timid opening, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau imposed greater restrictions on his citizens in terms of visits to the Caribbean and Mexico.
At the end of February, that country began requiring a PCR test for COVID-19 from arriving travelers.
Visitors must also go through a three-day quarantine at a government-approved hotel.
Arriving travelers must pay for their hotel stays .
Canada has also established that cruise ships with more than 100 passengers do not call at its ports.
The action is especially tough. It will last until February 28, 2022, giving a strong blow to tourism in the summer and autumn of 2021.
The measures are considered fair against the risky pandemic that still threatens, but is severe for countries like Mexico and Caribbean islands.
About Mexico, the Canadian authorities canceled all commercial flights until April 30.
The Canadian source market is the second most important for the Mexican leisure industry after the United States.
In 2020, despite the epidemic, Canadian travelers accounted for 13% of all foreign tourists who spent Mexican vacations.
The situation is considered so serious that the Mexican government said it hopes that the Trudeau measure will be withdrawn “as soon as possible.”
But international tourism specialists believe that it is the strongest measures that reduce the risks that are run with the coronavirus. So do the Canadians.
However, there are risks to the economies of tourist destinations around the world.
Canada runs the same risks.
The increase in cases in that country in December caused not only the measures described but also closures in Ontario and Quebec with staggered regional reopening.
Ontario still has a “stay at home” order in effect.