Ontario calls for mandatory hotel quarantines at land crossings

Ruben Fields
May 1, 2021

On Friday, Ford said that while he "appreciates" the science table, he also listens to the advice of other medical advisors and Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health.

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

Ontario pushed the federal government Friday to impose tighter restrictions at land borders, with Premier Doug Ford saying the move was needed to address the threat posed by variants of COVID-19.

The government said it is also working with the federal government to "double up" payments to the federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) from $500 to $1,000 per week before taxes.

These measures don't apply to travellers coming into Canada by land over the USA border.

In the letter Monday to the federal ministers of health and public safety, Ontario said 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.

Doug Ford confirms that paid sick days are coming for Ontario workers
She also says there are 279 new cases in Ottawa and 200 in Durham Region. Ford also promised a paid sick-leave program.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford scrapped over worldwide border measures Friday while officials in two of Alberta's COVID-19 hotspots sought clarification over a possible curfew being floated to tame that province's surge.

He added that the importation of COVID-19 through the border is "extremely low" in Canada and the third wave is very much related "community transmission". "This is not just an Ontario problem - it is a Canada-wide problem".

As it stands now, air travellers entering Canada are required to quarantine for at least three days in a specially designated hotel.

"I would shut down the land border crossings to only those who are absolutely essential", he said.

More than 150.3 million cases have been declared since the virus was first discovered in China in December 2019, according to an AFP compilation of official data - with numbers soaring recently due to a relentless second wave in India, where 2.5 million cases have been detected in the past seven days. The province has reported 3,887 new COVID-19 cases and 21 additional deaths. He said the measures are effective and have been catching the virus before it spreads.

Meanwhile, Ford said he will not relent in his campaign to further restrict worldwide travel "because too much is at stake". "And they got in because of weak border measures". "I can tell you that", Ford said during his press conference.

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