Mandatory COVID-19 testing to be implemented at Toronto Pearson Airport

Jan 29 2021, 5:24 pm

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that mandatory COVID-19 testing would be implemented at airports, including Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Starting in February, there will be a second mandatory COVID-19 test for arriving international passengers.

As they await the result, they will be required to wait in quarantine for three days at a supervised hotel. The stay will cost $2,000 per person – which includes the cost of private tests and the hotel stay.

If they receive a negative test result, they can go home to quarantine with enhanced supervision. But if the test is positive, they will be taken to a government facility.

Trudeau said these “decisions are not made lightly” and are “informed, effective decisions that take in all factors and their consequences.”

“My priority is to protect Canadians,” said the prime minister.

Earlier this month, the federal government implemented stricter travel measures requiring all air travellers bound for Canada to present a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test in order to fly.

In addition, beginning next week, all international flights will only be allowed to land at four airports; Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, and Montreal.

As well, major Canadian airlines are cancelling their air service to sun destinations including the Caribbean and Mexico starting this Sunday until April 30.

The airlines include Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing, and Air Transat.

In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford has been vocal about implementing further restrictions at the border.

On Monday, he said it’s “absolutely critical” that the borders are closed to non-essential travel, which “should have happened months ago.”

The premier said at the time, based on the testing the provincial government is doing with their pilot program, 2.5% of the tests come back positive. For the 33,000 international travellers tested, that’s around 750 bringing COVID-19 to the province.

On January 6, the Ontario government launched a new voluntary and free border testing pilot program at Toronto Pearson Airport for eligible international travellers returning to Ontario.

He will provide an update at 3 pm on travel.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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