canada border

Travellers coming into Canada will now have to pay over $2k for a hotel stay upon landing

In an effort to mitigate virus spread and reiterate that no one in Canada should be travelling right now, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has just introduced some more extreme measures at the Canadian border, including one that will see incoming passengers pay a steep bill for a hotel stay while they await COVID-19 test results.

All travellers landing in the country from an international destination — even Canadian residents — will soon be subject to a mandatory COVID-19 test at the airport, Trudeau confirmed in a media briefing on Friday.

The tests will not be rapid tests, but PCR tests, which often take multiple days to process.

While waiting for these results, new arrivals will have to quarantine at an approved hotel at their own expense, which Trudeau said he expects to be, with the private test and health and safety measures required, more than $2,000.

Those who test positive will not be permitted to return home to wait out their illness, but will be forced to hunker down in a designated government facility to prevent further spread.

This is ostensibly partly in response to the fact that approximately 25 per cent of incoming travellers aren't properly quarantining upon their arrival, as stated multiple times by Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who has blamed lockdown on people travelling too much unnecessarily and has called for a full border closure to non-residents.

Ford noted during a presser last month that 64,000 people from international destinations had gone through Toronto's Pearson Airport the week prior "basically unchecked," and implored the federal government to take further action at border entries.

That action came today with this news of the mandatory COVID-19 test and hotel stay, which will be rolled out "as soon as possible in the coming weeks."

Trudeau also announced this afternoon that, starting next week, all international arrivals will be limited to only four airport hubs: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.

And, the negative COVID-19 test required to board a flight to Canada, a rule implemented on Jan. 7, will now also be extended to those crossing into the country by land.

Ottawa has also made the move to suspend all flights to sun destinations such as the Caribbean and Mexico, two regions where some people have been notoriously flying to party during the health crisis.

Meanwhile, some experts have pointed out that a large factor in COVID spread is essential workers, not just vacationers and partiers — there have been numerous outbreaks at meat packing plants and other factories, at postal facilities, among migrant workers, in the grocery and food service industry, on construction sites and more.

In Ontario, studies have shown that far too many people continue to work despite having symptoms of the virus, new daily cases of which have finally been driven down below the 2,000 mark this week.

Lead photo by

Jeff Hitchcock

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