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Canada announces tougher COVID restrictions for international travelers

Toronto Pearson Airport

The Canadian government has announced tougher measures aimed at international travelers to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Those measures come into effect this week. However, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he won’t wait and is implementing measures Monday.

International travelers will face mandatory testing for the coronavirus when they arrive at Toronto’s international airport. Ford said nothing can be taken for granted, especially with highly contagious variants of COVID-19 already entering the country, so Ontario can’t afford to wait for the federal government.

"This plan will act as the first line of defense against new variants of this virus," the premier said.

Ontario’s health minister, Christine Elliott, said the province will go even further, asking people who come in contact with a confirmed case to get tested immediately and again in 10 days.

"And the households of all contacts and symptomatic individuals will be asked to stay home and quarantine until the contact has a negative test," Elliott said.

Anyone who refuses to comply with the new testing rules will be fined $750 under the Health Protection Act.

Some federal restrictions, announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, also begin taking effect this week.

"All international passenger flights must land only at the following four airports: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal," Trudeau said.

All international travelers returning to Canada will be required to quarantine at a government-designated hotel for three days at their own expense. Ottawa and the country’s major airlines have also agreed to suspend all flights to the Caribbean and Mexico until the end of April.    

WBFO’s comprehensive news coverage extends into Southern Ontario and Dan Karpenchuk is the station’s voice from the north. The award-winning reporter covers binational issues, including economic trends, the environment, tourism and transportation.
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