MPs unanimously agreed Canada should suspend worldwide flights from countries where COVID-19 outbreaks are raging just a few hours before the federal government is expected to announce new restrictions on incoming travel.
This comes ahead of a vaccine update from federal officials.
Britain's Heathrow Airport has refused to allow extra flights from India in the meantime, citing concerns about queues at passport control, the BBC reported on Thursday. However, four air carriers had requested the Heathrow Airport to allow eight more flights from India as travellers wanted to reach the United Kingdom before the new rules came into effect.
The GCAA said, "The decision to suspend flights came after studying and evaluating the epidemiological situation in the friendly Republic of India and within the framework of continuous coordination and cooperation with all relevant authorities inside and outside the country that continuously monitor developments in the situation to maintain the security and safety of civil aviation".
On the West Coast, three recent flights from India were added to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's list of flights with possible COVID-19 exposures.
Responding to a question, he said, Secretary of State Tony Blinken and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar discussed the issue during a phone call on Monday, April 19.
He's also calling for more action to prevent people from getting around the rules by trying to enter Canada from other countries, as well as implement "enhanced screening and quarantine measures" for people who have either been to a COVID-19 hotspot or who have tested positive for these variants.
According to the World Health Organisation, from January 3, 2020 to April 20, 2021, India has reported 15.3 million COVID-19 cases and over 1,80,000 deaths.
The UK.'s red list practically bans entry to passengers travelling in from India.
Canada is considering a halt to air travel from India, especially after a variant of interest first seen in that country was detected in Canada.