Trudeau dismisses Ontario's call for stricter land border quarantine rules

Premier Ford demands closure of Mississauga's Pearson Airport, fears vaccine resistant variant is inevitable

Canada's current travel restrictions require all those arriving from an worldwide destination by plane to quarantine at a designated hotel facility for three days while waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test. The hotel stay is part of a 14-day quarantine that can be completed at their destination if they test negative.

According to the province, some global travellers are booking flights to American airports near the Canadian border.

"The irony here is that by gathering people are putting each other at risk, spreading further cases of COVID-19 and extending the time in which we will have to be faced with restrictions", said Trudeau.

Since February 2021 there's been a three-day hotel quarantine rule in place for people coming into or returning to Canada by air.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford scrapped over worldwide border measures Friday while officials in two of Alberta's COVID-19 hotspots sought clarification over a possible curfew being floated to tame that province's surge.

The comments came as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there are already tight controls at land borders, including tests before and after crossing and mandatory two-week quarantines.

Ontario's call on land crossings follows a request earlier this week for enhanced measures for interprovincial travellers.

Border restrictions and airports fall under federal jurisdiction, leaving the premier with little power outside of lobbying the Prime Minister for increased safety measures.

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Trudeau says he's not considering barring global students from entering Canada at this point, but he's willing to work "more narrowly" with Ontario.

"In the range of things considered, we certainly have thought about that topic", he said, responding to a question from Conservative health critic Michelle Rempel Garner, at the House of Commons health committee.

"In fact, we learned yesterday that 90 per cent of average daily cases this week are variants of concern, the same variants that fuelled our devastating third wave".

He criticized the two sets of rules now in place for arrivals by air and arrivals by land, and said a taxi company he spoke with recently said they had 400 cars near the border to pick people up. Currently, they can move about the country freely after they land.

He said limo and shuttle services are available in Buffalo, N.Y., that will transport Canadians to Toronto for approximately $250.

The science table presented the latest COVID-19 modelling data on Thursday. The commission examined what went wrong in the province's response to the first wave of the pandemic. "But none of that matters because I'm your premier today".

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath called on Ford to release the report as soon as the government receives it, and to implement its recommendations.

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