Jan 29, 2021

By Christine Ross

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With the growing threat of COVID-19 variants, Ontario will make all international travellers take a COVID-19 test on arrival at Pearson Airport starting next week.

“Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health will issue a Section 22 Order to require mandatory testing for all incoming international travellers at Pearson Airport effective Monday at noon and as soon as possible, we will have additional testing measures at land border crossings,” said Premier Doug Ford.

Ford says the province discovered five cases of the variant during voluntary testing of international travelers at Pearson. The Premier says the province is moving ahead with this now, as a stop gap measure before the federal quarantine plan at airports ramps up in the coming weeks.

Solicitor General Sylvia Jones says travellers who refuse to take the test will be given a $750 dollar ticket.

In additional to mandatory testing, this new 6-point plan to target the variants also includes enhanced screening, maintaining public health measures, strengthen contact tracing, enhanced protection for the most vulnerable, and create a new variant database.

Meantime, the province is preparing to have schools fully equipped with rapid COVID tests.

But Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams has also confirmed that February 10th may NOT be the date the remaining four school boards will return to in-class learning.

“We don’t know if that will be the day yet for sure and the tests whether done in the school or around the school because sometimes we want the testing done at a central location and we’re looking at where it may be convenient for the parent to bring the child to have the testing done,” said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

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