It is more than clear by this point that different countries are responding in their own way to the pandemic. While some have loosened the reigns on restrictions, others are tightening down. In the middle of them is the CDC, attempting to offer guidance to would-be travelers. With the omicron variant constantly changing the outlook, the CDC added Canada to the level-4 list of high-risk travel.
Canada During the Pandemic
In an op-ed for The Washington Post, David Moscrop discussed the dissolution of the myth that Canada and her citizens are all-in-this-together. The narrative of unity, calling front-line workers heroes, is shattered by the chasm of financial differences. While the country’s highest-paid CEOs recorded their second-best year in history for 2020, citizens received a pay increase of 2.5%. Coupled with a 4.7% increase in costs for goods (inflation), that pay jump for citizens amounts to an actual pay cut.
Complicating this struggle in the financial sector, Canada (Quebec specifically) faces labor shortages in many of its industries. On Monday, the Minister of Employment, Carl Qualtrough, implemented measures to combat that problem. One of those measures includes increasing temporary foreign workers (TFW) from 10%-25%.
More Complications as a High-Risk Destination
As omicron spreads, it ushers new fears and new safety measures with it. On the back of Canada having its largest weekly case count of the pandemic (294,437 cases last week), the CDC added it to the level-4 travel list.
The addition to this list labels Canada as a very high-risk travel destination for the time being. The CDC designates a level-4 when a country registers more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. As of Monday, more than 80 countries were level-4 destinations, including popular travel destinations France, Italy, Iceland, and the UK.
The designation will cause more problems for the country as canceled tourism and business trips create more income disparity. Even the prime minister admonished maskless travelers, threatening fines and jail time. On December 15, Canada issued an advisory to its citizens, asking them to avoid nonessential international travel. As more citizens cannot work, more income-driven separation will take hold.