Ban air travel to Canada from countries that are struggling with COVID-19 variants, Erin O’Toole says

OTTAWA–Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is calling on the federal government to temporarily ban international flights to Canada from countries ravaged by COVID-19 variants, including India and Brazil.O’Toole’s call comes as more of the so-called India variant, B.1.617, has been detected in both Quebec and British Columbia.“The most important thing is to move quickly and stop flights temporarily from hot-spot countries like India and Brazil where the new variants are out of control and at wide risk of spreading in their population,” O’Toole said.“That spread could come here, and the dangerous variant that we see in India has severe health risks that need to be stopped.”O’Toole isn’t looking to just ban flights from those “hot-spot” countries. He said the Canadian government also needs to analyze how travellers from those countries could indirectly travel to Canada through a third country, and enhance screening and testing for those people.India reported 314,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, a world record for new infections in a single day. The country’s fragile health-care systems are being overwhelmed, with medical oxygen and life-saving ventilators in short supply.Despite the fast-moving spread and growing death count, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pushing states to avoid lockdown measures to protect the economy.All air travellers to Canada are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their flight. They are tested on arrival, must stay in a quarantine hotel for three days after arriving and quarantine at another location for an additional 10 days. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government will continue to require international air travellers to stay in quarantine hotels upon arrival — but said it is considering additional measures to keep variants out.“We are continuing to look at more and I have asked our officials to look carefully at, for example, what the U.K. has done very recently on suspending flights from India,” Trudeau said.Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said the government was specifically reviewing travel from India due to the nature of the COVID-19 variant there.Alex Boutilier is an Ottawa-based reporter covering federal politics for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @alexboutilier

Ban air travel to Canada from countries that are struggling with COVID-19 variants, Erin O’Toole says

OTTAWA–Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is calling on the federal government to temporarily ban international flights to Canada from countries ravaged by COVID-19 variants, including India and Brazil.

O’Toole’s call comes as more of the so-called India variant, B.1.617, has been detected in both Quebec and British Columbia.

“The most important thing is to move quickly and stop flights temporarily from hot-spot countries like India and Brazil where the new variants are out of control and at wide risk of spreading in their population,” O’Toole said.

“That spread could come here, and the dangerous variant that we see in India has severe health risks that need to be stopped.”

O’Toole isn’t looking to just ban flights from those “hot-spot” countries. He said the Canadian government also needs to analyze how travellers from those countries could indirectly travel to Canada through a third country, and enhance screening and testing for those people.

India reported 314,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, a world record for new infections in a single day. The country’s fragile health-care systems are being overwhelmed, with medical oxygen and life-saving ventilators in short supply.

Despite the fast-moving spread and growing death count, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pushing states to avoid lockdown measures to protect the economy.

All air travellers to Canada are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their flight. They are tested on arrival, must stay in a quarantine hotel for three days after arriving and quarantine at another location for an additional 10 days.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government will continue to require international air travellers to stay in quarantine hotels upon arrival — but said it is considering additional measures to keep variants out.

“We are continuing to look at more and I have asked our officials to look carefully at, for example, what the U.K. has done very recently on suspending flights from India,” Trudeau said.

Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said the government was specifically reviewing travel from India due to the nature of the COVID-19 variant there.

Alex Boutilier is an Ottawa-based reporter covering federal politics for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @alexboutilier

Source : Toronto Star More