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Misleading Reports on Canada's Travel Advisory to India Go Viral Amid Row

The recent change in Canada's travel advisory for citizens travelling to India is only under the "health section".

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Media organisations and social media users are sharing screenshots of the Canadian government’s travel advisory for its citizens travelling to India, highlighting a part which urges them to exercise “a high degree of caution” while travelling to certain parts of the country.

What is the claim?: Sharing a screenshot of the updated advisory, many media organisations such as ANI, Mirror Now, The Economic Times, The Times of India and ABP Majha, among others, claimed that Canada had included warnings against travelling to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in the latest update.

(Swipe right to view claims.)

  • ANI shared the claim on its X account.

    (Source: X/Screenshot)

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Did Canada issue the cautionary advisory in connection to this?: No. The only recent change made in the travel advisory pertains to the health section, where parts related to COVID-19, the Zika virus, monkeypox, and measles were updated.

At the time of writing this article, the Canadian government had not issued any travel advisories in connection to Nijjar’s killing or the diplomatic row between the two countries.

The Canadian government’s website carries travel advisories for many countries for its citizens. India has currently been categorised under ‘Exercise high degree of caution (with regional advisories)’, along with 45 other countries.

The travel advisory page for India shows the most recent update made on 18 September and clearly mentions that the update was related to the health section.

The recent change in Canada's travel advisory for citizens travelling to India is only under the "health section".

The website clearly mentions that the latest update was made under the health section.

(Source: travel.gc.ca/Altered by The Quint)

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To see what changes were made, we accessed an archived version of this page, which was saved on 9 May 2023

On comparing these two versions, we saw that the health advisories related to COVID-19, the Zika virus and measles were updated, with the newer versions being dated 30 August.

(Swipe to view the old and updated versions.)

  • The older version of the page had old dates next to travel health notices.

    (Source: Archive.is/Altered by The Quint)

Additionally, under the ‘person-to-person infections’ subsection, the updated version of the page mentions mpox (monkeypox), which was not included on the older page.

(Swipe to view both images.)

  • The older advisory did not mention monkeypox.

    (Source: Archive.is/Altered by The Quint)

The order of health conditions and illnesses listed under ‘pre-travel vaccines and illnesses’ has also been changed now.

Why is it important?: These posts come shortly after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent announcement of investigating the Indian government’s possible role in the killing of pro-Khalistan leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar

  • Accusing the Indian government of being involved in the killing of a “Canadian citizen on Canadian soil,” the country expelled Indian diplomat Pawan Kumar Rai.

  • Denying these accusations, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) “completely rejected” these “absurd” allegations, calling out Canada for sheltering “Khalistani terrorists and extremists” who “threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

  • After the move, the Indian government expelled senior Canadian diplomat Olivier Sylvestere.

  • Consequently, on Wednesday, 20 September, India issued an advisory for Indian nationals and students in Canada, urging them to "exercise utmost caution."

  • Issued "in view of growing anti-India activities and politically condoned hate crimes and criminal violence," the advisory is applicable to those contemplating travel to to Canada as well.

  • "Given the deteriorating security environment in Canada, Indian students in particular are advised to exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant," it read.

The recent change in Canada's travel advisory for citizens travelling to India is only under the "health section".

MEA issued an advisory for Indian nationals and students who are currently in, or are planning to travel to Canada.

(Source: MEA/Screenshot)

Canada, like many other nations, has advised its citizens to exercise caution while visiting sensitive areas in India, such as Manipur – due to ethnic clashes – and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir since at least 2012.

The recent change in Canada's travel advisory for citizens travelling to India is only under the "health section".

The Canadian government has issued regional advisories for India since at least 2012.

(Source: Wayback Machine/Altered by The Quint)

This is based on the archives that we could find.

Is Canada the only country to caution citizens?: Many western nations advise their citizens to exercise caution while travelling to India. These include (but are not restricted to) USA, France, Britain, and Ireland.

  • 01/04

    The USA's travel advisory mentions 'exercise increased caution' due to crime and terrorism.

    (Source: travel.state.gov/Altered by The Quint)

  • 02/04

    The French government strongly recommends its nationals against travelling to certain parts of India.

    (Source: diplomatie.gouv.fr/Altered by The Quint)

  • 03/04

    Britain's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development office advises people against travelling to parts of India.

    (Source: gov.ukAltered by The Quint)

  • 04/04

    The Irish Government advises its people to exercise a 'high degree of caution" while visiting India.

    (Source: Department of Foreign Affairs/Altered by The Quint)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Travel Advisory   India-Canada   Webqoof 

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