Ontario calls for mandatory hotel quarantine for travellers at land borders

By Canadian Press	
	 		Feds to work ‘narrowly’ with Ontario plea to pause entry of international students

On Thursday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford also called on the prime minister to to do more to restrict worldwide flights arriving from COVID-19 hot spots and to introduce a new rule requiring domestic air travellers to show proof of a negative test before taking an interprovincial flight.

Ford has repeatedly blamed the COVID-19 pandemic's third wave on "porous borders".

Provincial health authorities said 2,201 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 - 883 are in intensive care and 632 are on a ventilator.

Phillips' trip overseas occurred at a time when the premier was asking Ontarians not to gather over Christmas holidays and Ford was questioned how it was possible for a minister in his cabinet to leave the country without the premier knowing.

Elliott and Jones call these reports troubling and said they carry an "extreme risk" of spreading deadly COVID-19 variants.

Premier Doug Ford made the request on a first ministers' call and was the only premier to do so, Trudeau told a news conference.

"Because at this time Ontario is the only province requesting this, we're happy to work more narrowly with them", Trudeau said.

Ontario is asking the federal government to require all travellers crossing into Canada at land borders to observe the same three-day hotel quarantine that's now mandatory for air travellers.

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The pair state the loophole is a significant threat to the health and well-being of the province as over 150,000 people, not including essential commercial truck drivers, have crossed Canada's borders in the past two weeks. "The borders - land and air - they're federal jurisdiction".

Trudeau says he's not considering barring worldwide students from entering Canada at this point, but he's willing to work "more narrowly" with Ontario.

"We know that importation through the borders is extremely low in terms of [COVID-19] cases in the country".

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

But for land borders, travellers are simply required to show a negative COVID-19 test taken in the past 72 hours, present a plan for the 14-day mandatory quarantine and take another test eight days after arriving home. "Too many people are exploiting these weak measures at our land border to get around the hotel quarantine".

Health officials said there were 295 new COVID-19 cases and one death related to the virus. "I will not let this issue go because too much is at stake", Ford said. Njoo, speaking at a federal press conference, emphasized the need to curb community transmission of the virus and vaccinate the population.

"Last week, the new Indian variant was reported here in Ontario and it didn't swim here".

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