Ontario calls for mandatory hotel quarantine for travellers at land borders

Premier Ford demands closure of Mississauga's Pearson Airport, fears vaccine resistant variant is inevitable

Premier Ford demands closure of Mississauga's Pearson Airport, fears vaccine resistant variant is inevitable

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says "the borders are broken" and is pushing Ottawa to tighten restrictions at worldwide land crossings amid a COVID-19 surge.

Speaking from isolation again today, Ford said the airport remains the weakest link in the fight against COVID-19 pointing out that the first cases of the coronavirus come into Canada from worldwide travel as did all subsequent variants.

Travellers landing at Canada's worldwide airports already have to stay in a federally approved hotel for three days while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test done on arrival as part of a 14-day quarantine.

Fresh fears over more infectious variants, travel-related cases and the ability of the country's vaccine rollout to keep pace sparked scrutiny into pandemic strategy in various parts of the country, with Trudeau and Ford butting heads over rules at the border.

Premier Doug Ford made the request on a first ministers' call and was the only premier to do so, Trudeau told a news conference.

Justin Trudeau says Ontario is the only province to make this request. "I would shut down the land border crossings to only those that are absolutely essential".

He railed against the phenomenon of people travelling to Canada from the U.S.by flying to northern NY, then hiring a taxi or renting a auto to drive to the border before driving or walking across.

Ontario reports first rare blood clot related to Oxford-AstraZeneca shot
As with the AstraZeneca product, the EMA recommended labelling changes but said the benefits of getting vaccinated outweighed the risks.

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

The Ontario government wants Ottawa to impose mandatory three-day hotel quarantines at land crossings including the Blue Water Bridge.

"We know that importation through the borders is extremely low in terms of [COVID-19] cases in the country".

Trudeau says there are already tight controls at land borders, including tests before and after crossing and mandatory two-week quarantines. But so far there's no hotel quarantine required for people coming into or returning to Canada by land, just the 14-day quarantine in place since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

"There is a fundamental difference between someone arriving on connecting flights from anywhere around the world at our airports, which is why we have required government approved accommodations", Trudeau said. He's demanding the federal government take stricter border control measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 variants of concern in Canada.

"In fact, we learned yesterday that 90 per cent of average daily cases this week are variants of concern, the same variants that fuelled our devastating third wave".

Quebec reported 1,041 new COVID-19 cases Friday and 13 more deaths.

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