Ontario starts mandatory COVID-19 testing for Int’l travellers
International air travellers touching down in Ontario will have to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Toronto starting today (Monday).
Anyone who refuses to take the test will be subject to a $750 fine. Ford said at a press conference on Friday that the province plans to implement testing protocols at land border crossings “as soon as possible.”
While the federal government announced that mandatory arrival testing of international travellers will be put into place “in the coming weeks,” in addition to a required three-day hotel stay as travellers wait for their test result, Ford said the time frame is “too long.” The premier said this testing rule is meant to be a “stop gap” to prevent new COVID-19 cases from coming into Ontario, particularly variant cases.
Health officials in Ontario reported 1,969 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and 36 additional deaths, bringing the provincial death toll to 6,224. Hospitalizations in Ontario stood at 1,158, according to a provincial dashboard, with 354 COVID-19 patients listed as being in intensive care units.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said on Sunday air travellers should be prepared for COVID-19 testing upon arrival in Canada and hotel quarantine requirements to come into effect as soon as Thursday.
As of 11.59 p.m. ET Wednesday, all international passenger, private and charter flights — including from the United States and other previously exempted countries — will be funnelled through the Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal airports.