Ford urges Trudeau to close down borders from countries with new COVID-19 strains
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has called on the federal government to impose temporary ban on direct flights from countries with new COVID-19 strains.
Ford’s pleas come while providing an update on the province’s recently launched voluntary COVID-19 testing pilot project at Toronto International Pearson Airport.
Ontario currently has a pilot program underway at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport that allows international travellers to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival. Ford said Monday that the program, which is voluntary and free, has an average test positivity rate of 2.5 per cent.
According to the province, 6,580 tests for the novel coronavirus have been conducted as part of the pilot project. Of those tests, 146 came back positive and of those positive results, four have been screened as potential U.K. variant and will undergo further investigation.
Ford said that banning flights with multiple stops in countries with a known variant of the disease should also be considered.
“While we’ve made steady progress through this pilot program, thousands of people continue to pass through Pearson every week without being tested, creating a real risk to all Ontarians,” Ford said.
“That’s why, in addition to pre-departure testing, we’re asking the federal government to adopt mandatory testing upon arrival for all international travellers and impose a temporary ban on flights coming from countries where new COVID-19 strains are being detected.”
“We all need to do our part to stop the spread of this virus” until vaccines are widely available,” the premier said.