FILE – An Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet arrives at Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

FILE – An Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet arrives at Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Ontario asks federal government for enhanced measures for interprovincial travellers

Province is asking for mandatory pre-departure PCR testing for all domestic air travellers entering Ontario

The Ontario government is asking Ottawa for enhanced measures for interprovincial travellers as the province grapples with skyrocketing hospitalizations and cases of COVID-19 variants.

In a letter Monday to the federal ministers of health and public safety, Ontario says it has already closed its boundaries with Quebec and Manitoba to non-essential travel, but there are no measures in place to protect provinces from the spread of COVID-19 variants through interprovincial air travel, an area of federal responsibility.

The province is asking for mandatory pre-departure PCR testing for all domestic air travellers entering Ontario, an extension to current rules for international passengers seeking entry into Canada.

The letter, which was shared with The Canadian Press, says there have been 17 domestic flights in the past two weeks to Toronto’s Person International Airport with possible COVID-19 exposures.

It adds there have also been potential exposures on flights landing at other Ontario airports, including Ottawa and Hamilton.

The letter comes as health-care workers from Newfoundland and Labrador are set to arrive in Ontario today, as well as three teams of nurses and medical technicians from the Canadian Armed Forces.

It says limiting mobility is a key factor to reducing the risk of further spread of COVID-19 variants.

“Over 70 per cent of daily cases in Ontario have been confirmed as variants of concern,” says the letter signed by Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.

“These variants entered through our borders, both international and domestic, and it is critical that every effort is made to keep them out.”

The letter says it is crucial that the transport of essential goods is not hindered by border measures, but “it is likewise crucial that all non-essential travel be curtailed.”

”The introduction of stricter pre-departure testing measures, in addition to providing an extra layer of protection for interprovincial travellers, is a significant step to achieve that goal and ensure that collectively we are doing all we can to protect our citizens,” the letter reads.

“These new measures should be in place for as long as necessary, or until the risks of new variants in Canada have been effectively minimized.”

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusOntariotravel

Just Posted

Masset Habour Days will be from May 21 to 25 in 2021, in a family-friendly safe environment. A parade in 2018 was a highlight of a previous Harbour Days celebration. (File Photo)
Birds, boats and blooms are featured in 2021 Harbour Days

Community festival runs from May 21 to 25 in Masset

Kayak the humpback whale was found dead on a Haida Gwaii beach on Saturday, May 15, 2021. (Marine Education and Research Society)
Kayak the humpback whale found dead on Haida Gwaii beach

Whale was estimated to be only 18 years old

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

Troy Patterson, a Cadboro Bay 15-year-old, got a virtual meeting with B.C.’s environment minister months after he started an online petition calling for construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline to stop. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
B.C. teen’s 23,000-name Coastal GasLink petition gets him an audience with the minister

15-year-old Saanich high school student and George Heyman discussed project for about 30 minutes

Announced Tuesday, May 18 by Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, the province added gyms, dance and fitness studios to its list of places where face coverings are mandatory (AP/Steven Senne)
Masks now required at all times inside B.C. gyms, including during workouts

The province added gyms, dance and fitness studios to its list of places where face coverings are mandatory Tuesday

Reinhard “Bud” Loewen of Abbotsford has now been charged with 21 counts of sexual assault related to his massage business. (Facebook photo)
Former Abbotsford masseur now faces 21 counts of sexual assault

Bud Loewen of Bud’s Massage Therapy initally faced three charges

Over the years, police have worked with sketch artists to draw what the boys could have looked like at the times of their deaths. (Vancouver Police Department)
DNA breakthrough expected in cold case involving murdered Vancouver boys, 7 and 8

Forensic analysts are working to identify relatives of the children, whose bodies were found in Stanley Park in 1953

Livestock competitions have been part of the Pacific National Exhibiton for more than a century. (Maple Ridge News files)
B.C. provides $50 million to keep major tourist attractions going

Tour bus companies also eligible for latest COVID-19 aid

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Derek Descoteau with his trusty dog Harvey. (Photo submitted)
Friends provide continuing comfort for family in wake of unresolved senseless B.C. murder

Case remains before the courts five years after Derek Descoteau’s abrupt stabbing death in Chemainus

The top photo is of a real carbine rifle, while the bottom photo is the airsoft rifle seized from a Kelowna man on May 15. (Contributed)
RCMP issue warning: ‘Imitation firearms need to be dealt with responsibly’

A man brandishing his airsoft rifle in public had his weapon seized by Mounties on Saturday

Most Read