canada covid flights

Flight from the U.S. with case of COVID-19 on board entered Toronto last week

The U.S. continues to be the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak, with far more cases confirmed south of the border than anywhere else in the world, and new cases from the country just keep coming into Canada by plane.

Non-essential travel between Canada and the U.S. is temporarily halted due to the pandemic, but several exceptions — in place for Canadian citizens, permanent residents, the immediate family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and some other foreign nationals (including U.S. citizens) — mean some people are still going back and forth between the two countries. 

The federal government maintains a non-exhaustive database of flights that have travelled in and out of Canada with cases of COVID-19 to notify residents who may have been exposed, and it indicates that at least one flight from the U.S. arrived in Toronto with someone who tested positive for the virus over the last week. 

The information on the webpage 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 two weeks (between July 22 and today).

The database indicates that American Airlines flight AA5079 had a passenger infected with COVID-19 on board when it entered Toronto from Charlotte, NC on July 29. 

The affected rows on this plane are unknown, so anyone who travelled on the flight may have been exposed and should self-monitor for symptoms. 

Before this flight's arrival at the end of July, at least 36 additional international flights with infected passengers flew into Toronto between July 15 and 28.

Several domestic flights with passengers who've tested positive also came into Toronto over the past few weeks, including, most recently, WestJet flight WS506 from Saskatoon on July 31. 

"You may have been exposed to COVID-19 during recent travel, such as by airplane, cruise ship or train (any public conveyance). Being aware of the risk can help you take the necessary steps to protect your health and the health of others around you," notes the government database.

The federal government is also reminding travellers that anyone arriving in Canada from outside the country is required by law to quarantine for 14 days from the date they arrived, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms.

Lead photo by

Toronto Pearson International Airport


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