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All international air travellers arriving Ontario, at Toronto Pearson International Airport, are now required to take a mandatory PCR COVID-19 test.
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.
This comes after the province confirmed five cases of B117 COVID-19 variant, first detected in the U.K., in Ontario's voluntary testing program at Toronto Pearson airport.
The new airport test requirement is part of the Ontario government’s six-point variant action plan, which also includes increasing lap capacity identify variants in positive COVID-19 samples, testing of asymptomatic contact of a case and rapid testing in high-risk settings.
On Friday, the provincial government said it will not consider lifting any public health and workplace safety measures at this time, “until more information on variant spread is known and overall trends in public health indicators improve.”