With the threat of new COVID-19 variants detected in places like the U.K. and South Africa, the federal government is doubling down on its priority to put firmer travel measures in place to protect Canada’s borders.  

“Our government absolutely believes that with these new variants out there, now is the time to impose further restrictions to toughen up at the border and that’s what we’re going to do,” said Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland in an interview with BNN Bloomberg.

These comments come on the heels of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s press conference on Tuesday urging Canadians to cancel their travel plans. "The bad choices of a few will never be allowed to put everyone else in danger," Trudeau said.

The Ontario government said the federal government needed to be stricter with border controls, urging feds to “take further action to protect to border, including mandatory testing of all incoming international passengers and a temporary ban on direct flights from countries where new variants are detected” in a press release sent out Tuesday.

Freeland did not reveal precise details of what further restrictions could look like, though these new measures are expected to further weigh on the ailing travel industry.

“The conversation with airlines is distinct… We recognize that these additional travel restrictions and the fact that the government is saying directly to Canadians ‘do not travel now’ has implications for our conversation with airlines,” Freeland said. “I would also remind all Canadians and really reassure all Canadians that a priority for our government is to ensure that everyone who has had their trips cancelled gets reimbursed.”