Ford welcomes Canada’s latest travel rules, says new variant is cause for concern, but don’t panic – .

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Ford welcomes Canada’s latest travel rules, says new variant is cause for concern, but don’t panic – .


TORONTO – Ontario Premier Doug Ford praised the federal government’s latest travel restrictions and testing requirements in response to the Omicron variant, saying local cases are “a cause for concern, but not a cause of panic ”.

The Prime Minister made the comments at a press conference Wednesday on the provinces’ long-awaited plans for the reconstruction of Trillium Health Partners Hospital in Mississauga and just hours after the federal government announced it would add other countries on the list of nations subject to travel restrictions, and will impose new testing requirements on all air travelers arriving from outside of Canada, except the United States

“Every day we learn more about the Omicron virus and how quickly it can spread and how severe it is,” Ford told reporters. “Every day we hold more cases entering our country, the more time we have to learn and prepare. So the best thing we can do now is to fortify our borders. “

“We applaud the actions of the federal government and I want to thank the federal government for taking action today… We cannot compromise the gains we have made. “

Not much is known about Omicron at this time, especially if it is more contagious, causes more serious illnesses, or may escape vaccines. Scientists say it is of concern because of its high number of mutations. While the Omicron variant was first detected in South Africa, it may already have been detected in other parts of the world before South African scientists reported it to the world.

In response to the discovery, Ford publicly called on Ottawa on Friday to ban all flights and passengers from countries of concern and to implement new testing requirements. So far, four cases of the new Omicron variant have been identified in Ontario.

Canada imposed new travel restrictions on Tuesday. New testing requirements will now mean that all air travelers arriving from outside of Canada, except the United States, will need to be tested at the airport when they land in Canada, in addition to the requirement. existing pre-departure test.

The federal government also added Nigeria, Malawi and Egypt to the group of seven other countries facing travel restrictions, including South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini.

“I’m happy that we’ve improved testing at airports and added three more countries to the list,” Ford said on Wednesday. He added that he would continue to have conversations with the federal government on the new restrictions to be put in place.

“I would always support anything that can be prudent to prevent this new variant from entering our country. “

Ford said the province plans to increase tracking and tracing in the province to monitor the new variant of concern. He said the province was also increasing testing.

Health officials on Wednesday reported an additional 780 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario, along with six more deaths linked to the disease. The seven-day daily moving average of infections in Ontario continues to rise, standing at around 821 today.

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