Ontario’s Ford calls for flight ban, other measures in response to new variant


TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford is calling for stronger border measures in light of a new COVID-19 variant amid fears it may be more transmissible.

Ford says he wants the federal government to ban flights and passengers from “countries of concern” until it’s determined that vaccines protect against the variant.

He says people who arrive before a proposed ban is implemented should be tested and forced to quarantine, including people who arrive today.

He is also calling for point-of-arrival testing for all passengers arriving in Canada.

Several nations, including the European Union, have stopped flights from southern Africa over concern about the variant known as B.1.1.529.

The World Health Organization has cautioned against taking such actions before more information about the variant is known, and its experts are meeting today to assess the situation.

Public Health Ontario says the variant has not been detected in Ontario.

— With files from The Associated Press.


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