Ford calls for mandatory quarantine for USA border travellers, tighter air measures

Premier Ford demands closure of Mississauga's Pearson Airport, fears vaccine resistant variant is inevitable

The province said federal quarantine rules are being bypassed by travellers who book return flights into nearby USA airports, take a taxi or limousine to a land border crossing, and then walk or drive across the border. "I will not let this issue go because too much is at stake", Ford said.

"We also know that at the borders there are a series of tests, there is a mandatory enforced two-week quarantine that has been effective in controlling the importation of cases", the prime minister said.

Ford's call to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came as Ontario continues to deal with high COVID-19 cases, 90 percent of which are now more transmissible variants of concern.

Out west, COVID-19 hot spots in a Rocky Mountain tourist town and northeastern Alberta's oilsands hub asked for more details from the provincial government before deciding to request curfews.

The Ontario government wants Ottawa to impose mandatory three-day hotel quarantines at land crossings including the Blue Water Bridge.

"With several land border crossings between the United States and the Province of Ontario, this loophole represents a significant threat to the health and well-being of Ontarians due to the potential for further entry of COVID-19 variants into the province", the letter, which was signed by Solicitor General Sylvia Jones and Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott. The province has reported 3,887 new COVID-19 cases and 21 additional deaths. As long as these massive loopholes exist, we're not safe from these new variants.

He railed against the phenomenon of people travelling to Canada from the flying to northern NY, then hiring a taxi or renting a vehicle to drive to the border before driving or walking across. "I would shut down the land border crossings to only those who are absolutely essential because I would do everything in my power to stop a vaccine-resistant variant from getting into our country and bringing a fourth wave with it".

"Not enough is being done to keep these deadly variants out of Canada", said Ford.

Travellers landing at Canada's global airports already have to stay in a federally approved hotel for three days while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test done on arrival as part of a 14-day quarantine.

The province is also now offering the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged 30 to 39 with underlying health conditions, including severe obesity, chronic liver disease and HIV.

There were eight new COVID-19 cases in Newfoundland and Labrador, all but one of which were linked to travel within Canada, said officials.