The federal government urged Canadians abroad to return home while they still have a chance as countries around the world impose ever-tighter travel restrictions in a bid to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
Word from Global Affairs Canada came on Saturday as Canadians travelling in Europe scrambled to book flights ahead of looming border closures in many European Union countries.
The advice marks an escalation for the government, who previously urged Canadians to cancel or postpone non-essential trips.
“Airlines have cancelled flights. New restrictions may be imposed with little warning. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted and you may be forced to remain outside of Canada longer than expected,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Find out what commercial options are still available to return to Canada. Consider returning to Canada earlier than planned if these options are becoming more limited.”
But heeding the latest advice from Ottawa might not be easy for some Canadians already feeling the effects of tightening travel restrictions.
Renata Kaniewski, of Ottawa, who travelled to Poland for her mother’s funeral, said the next available flight to Toronto offered by LOT Polish Airlines is scheduled for March 29. But she says there’s no guarantee that flight will take off thanks to the Polish government’s decision to suspend international flights and trains starting on Sunday.
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