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Confused about the new travel restrictions? Expert breaks it down

Click to play video 'Questions about the new travel restrictions? Expert breaks it all down' Questions about the new travel restrictions? Expert breaks it all down
WATCH: Travel expert Claire Newell breaks down new travel restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 and new variants amid the pandemic – Feb 2, 2021

Last week, the Government of Canada announced new travel restrictions in the hope of limiting the spread of COVID-19, but many people are still left confused.

Vancouver-based travel expert, Claire Newell, recently joined The Morning Show to discuss current travel restrictions and what they mean for Canadians.

Read more: Canada’s new travel restrictions a ‘nail in the coffin’ for airlines, tourism: experts

Newell says the mandatory 14-day quarantine for people entering Canada is still in effect.

Also, travellers seeking entry into Canada must continue to present the airline with a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to departure.

Now, Newell says, people will have to take an additional COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, or a molecular test, when they land.

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She adds that people will have to stay in a government-supervised hotel for up to three days at their own cost while awaiting the results.

“If you have a negative result, you can go home and complete the remainder of your 14-day quarantine, but you do need another test on day 10.”

Read more: Will these new travel restrictions work? Doctor answers our COVID-19 questions

If your COVID-19 test is positive, people will have to continue their quarantine in a government-supervised hotel or a hospital if necessary.

“The estimated cost on this is about $2,800 per person,” she says.

For people who refuse to stay in the hotels, Newell says it’s possible they can face a $750,000 fine or six months in prison.

It is still unclear when the new restrictions will come into effect since the federal government has yet to confirm a date.

Click to play video 'Hotel industry could face further struggles for foreseeable future' Hotel industry could face further struggles for foreseeable future
Hotel industry could face further struggles for foreseeable future – Feb 2, 2021

The Canadian government’s website says there are limited exceptions to the new travel restrictions.

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People who might be exempt include: essential workers, people moving essential goods, those who live in trans-border communities and people receiving medical care non-related to COVID-19.

Read more: 86 per cent of Canadians support new international travel restrictions, poll finds

Since last weekend, airlines have suspended all flights to and from Mexico and Caribbean countries until April 30, 2021.

Newell says if you’re someone who has already booked a flight to those destinations, it’s likely your trip can be refunded — especially if you booked through Air Canada, WestJet, Transat and Sunwing.

She adds that the new restrictions have been the biggest blow by far to the travel industry since the beginning of the pandemic.

“It is absolutely devastating,” she says, adding the impact will be felt by everyone in the travel and tourism industry.

For more information on Canada’s new travel restrictions, watch the full video above.