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Ontario government looking at mandatory testing for Pearson: reports

TORONTO — Multiple consumer media outlets are reporting that the Ontario government is looking at ways to bring in mandatory COVID-19 testing for all international passengers arriving at Toronto’s Pearson Airport.

Reports in the Toronto Star, CP24 and others say that Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, is looking at the possibility of mandatory testing at Canada’s largest airport

Earlier this week Ontario Premier Doug Ford called on the federal government to close Canada’s borders to all incoming air travel, with the exception of Canadians returning home.

“Close down any travel” from outside Canada, he said during his Jan. 25 COVID-19 briefing. “There’s no reason we need anyone coming in. I look up at the sky, I’m out in Etobicoke and I can see all these planes in the sky and I think, how many cases are coming in? This has to stop.”

Ford has long advocated for testing at Pearson, saying in December 2020 he would go it alone if the federal government wouldn’t step in with assistance.

On Jan. 6 Ford announced the launch of COVID-19 testing at Toronto Pearson airport for arriving passengers, however that testing is voluntary.

Mandatory testing “should have happened months ago,” Ford said on Jan. 25.

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