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

Email letters to the editor to editor@northislandgazette.com and we will publish online and in print.
LETTER: Port McNeill councillor responds to May 12 North Island Rising column

‘council raised residential taxes for no reason and I stand by that statement’

The seasonal Search and Rescue program will run between May to September. ( File photo/Canadian Coast Guard)
Coast Guard Inshore Rescue Program starting up next week

Teams have protocols in place to ensure COVID-19 safety

Shearwater is located in the Great Bear Rainforest on the West Coast of B.C. (Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association photo)
Heiltsuk Nation buys historic Shearwater Resort and Marina

Chief Marilyn Slett said Heiltsuk Nation has always valued its relationship with the company

B.C. Centre for Disease Control data showing new cases by local health area for the week of May 2-8. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island COVID-19 local case counts the lowest they’ve been all year

On some areas of Island, more than 60 per cent of adults have received a vaccine dose

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Island’s daily COVID-19 case count drops below 10 for just the second time in 2021

Province reports 8 new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island Wednesday

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
MISSING: Salt Spring RCMP find woman’s car, still seek Island resident

Sinikka Gay Elliott is 5’3” with a slim build and dark brown short hair

A Saanich man received almost 10 years in Supreme Court in Courtenay for a shooting incident from 2018. Record file photo
Shooting incident on Island nets almost 10-year sentence

Saanich man was arrested without incident north of Courtenay in 2018

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Trina Hunt's remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Cousin of missing woman found in Hope says she won’t have closure until death is solved

Trina Hunt’s family urges Hope residents to check dashcam, photos to help find her killer

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

Most Read