covid flight toronto

At least 2 more international flights with COVID-19 cases landed in Toronto last week

Despite travel restrictions put in place to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in Canada, international flights carrying infected passengers continue to land in Toronto thanks to several exemptions.

According to the government's non-exhaustive database, which lists locations where people may have been exposed to COVID-19 during recent travel, another two flights from abroad with cases of the virus landed in the city last week. 

With these two newly added flights, the total number of planes hailing from all over the world that have brought COVID-19-positive passengers into Toronto since the start of August stands at least 26.

The information in the government database is gathered through reports received from provincial and territorial health authorities, international health authorities and public websites, and it only includes data from the last 14 days — as this is the quarantine period for those who may have been exposed.

The most recent flights added to the database include one from Chicago and another from London.

On Aug. 11, United Airways flight UA4552 from Chicago flew into Toronto with a case of the virus on board, and anyone seated in rows 27 to 33 may have been exposed and should self-monitor for symptoms. 

Likewise, British Airways flight BA99 also brought a COVID-19-positive passenger into the city on Aug. 13, and travellers who sat in rows nine to 15 could have been exposed to the virus.

At least 24 other international flights have similarly brought new cases of the virus into the city since the beginning of the month, as well as a number of domestic flights coming in from Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and more.

While non-essential domestic travel is currently unrestricted as Canada's outbreak remains under control, travellers from outside the country are not just permitted to enter whenever they please. 

However, there are exemptions in place for Canadian citizens, permanent residents, the immediate family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and some foreign nationals, which explains how and why these flights continue to land at Pearson Airport amid the pandemic.

"If you have recently returned to Canada, you must quarantine for 14 days from the date you arrived in Canada," notes the federal government. "This is mandatory, whether or not you have symptoms."

Lead photo by

Tom Podolec


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