Temporary foreign workers from Mexico plant strawberries on a farm in Mirabel, Que., on May 6, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Fishing and farming associations in Atlantic Canada that rely on temporary foreign workers say they are worried new travel rules could have a big impact on operations.

The federal government recently suspended commercial flights from Mexico and the Caribbean in an effort to prevent the circulation of COVID-19 variants.  

National Farmers Union in New Brunswick executive director Suzanne Fournier says the change could delay workers' arrival to the region.  

Nova Scotia Seafood Alliance president Osborne Burke says Ottawa should have addressed temporary foreign workers when it announced the new travel restrictions last week.  

He says the agriculture industry doesn't know whether foreign workers will be permitted to come to the region on charter flights or whether quarantine plans need to be modified.  

Burke says he understands the need to protect the population from COVID-19 but says the restrictions could significantly increase food-processing costs.  

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 2, 2021.