Canada has extended travel ban on most foreign travelers from entering the country and launched a new contact tracing app to curb the ‘gate-crashing’ coronavirus pandemic.
The travel ban extends till August 31, not allowing foreign travelers entering Canada from outside the United States. It came despite calls from Air Canada and some European aviation companies for Ottawa to restore safe travel.
Canada has a separate agreement for border crossings with the United States. The two countries earlier this month agreed to extend restrictions on non-essential travel.
While new infections and deaths in Canada have moderated in recent weeks, officials have urged people to stay on high alert and border restrictions are aimed at preventing a second wave.
On the other hand, Canada’s new contact tracing app, officially launched on Friday, will help alert Canadians when they may have been exposed to the coronavirus.
“The COVID Alert app is ready to download through the app store on your phone,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told. “This is another tool to protect your health.”
The app will only be fully functional in Ontario at first. However, the government hopes its working in other parts of the country in coming days.
The government used code from Shopify Inc and worked with Blackberry Inc on security for the app. It uses an exposure notification tool developed by Alphabet Inc’s Google and Apple Inc.
Using Bluetooth to send random codes between phones, the app can trace and contact people who have been exposed to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19.