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Amazon Cancels Prime Day in Canada Over COVID-19 Concerns

By Rich Duprey - May 7, 2021 at 9:12AM

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There's no new date yet for the annual shopping extravaganza.

Rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in Canada are apparently affecting consumers' ability to shop online as Amazon (AMZN 0.14%) is canceling its Prime Day sales event, the retailer told third-party sellers.

Bloomberg reported that in an email, Amazon said, "Based on the increasing impact of COVID-19 in Canada, and the importance we place on protecting the health and safety of our employees and customers, we will pause plans for Prime Day 2021 in Canada."

No rescheduled date was provided. Prime Day will occur in the U.S. in June, a month earlier than usual, though the actual date has not been announced.

Amazon warehouse worker

Image source: Amazon.com.

Canada has taken much more extreme measures in controlling people's activities during the pandemic than the U.S. has, but it is experiencing rising numbers of cases nonetheless. Ontario, for example, has been under emergency lockdown rules for weeks.

And Canada has also been far slower in rolling out vaccinations to the public. Where the U.S. has vaccinated almost 252 million people with at least one shot to date, and a third of the population is fully vaccinated, less than 3% of Canadians are vaccinated.

Amazon has also suspended its Prime Day activities in India, which has seen an explosion of new cases recently. Canada recently banned flights from India, as did President Joe Biden, who banned foreign nationals from entering the U.S. from India. It was considered very controversial at the time when President Trump banned travel from China to control the virus' spread at the start of the pandemic.

Travel between the U.S. and Canada, however, remains open as long as there's proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within three days of travel.

Amazon postponed Prime Day in the U.S. last year during the outbreak, holding it in October instead of mid-July as usual.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Rich Duprey has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1920.0 calls on Amazon and short January 2022 $1940.0 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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