Travel restrictions drastically cut down on COVID-19 entering Canada early in pandemic, but didn’t stop new outbreaks: study – CTV

Aug. 3, 2022

A new study that looks back on the first and second waves of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 says that travel restrictions barring entry to Canada did drastically reduce the number of COVID-19 cases entering the country.

However, researchers say, it still wasn’t enough to stop new outbreaks.

In the study, published in the peer-reviewed journal eLife on Tuesday, researchers with the University of British Columbia looked at public data on viral genome sequences collected in 2020 and early 2021 to find the geographic source of specific chains of COVID-19 transmission.

They found that four weeks after Canada restricted entry from most foreign nationals in March 2020, the number of COVID-19 cases crossing the border into the country had dropped 10-fold.

“COVID-19 importations were accelerating in the lead up to March 2020 but experienced a sharp and drastic decline after travel restrictions were put in place,” Angela McLaughlin, a PhD candidate in bioinformatics at UBC and the study’s lead author, said in a press release.

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