Canada’s COVID-19 travel restrictions are sticking around for at least another month while delays at Toronto Pearson Airport continue to mount.
Last week, more than 50 per cent of international passengers arriving at Toronto Pearson were hit by delays, according to the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA).
“Data from the week of May 23 to 29 shows that more than 129,000 passengers were affected by metering and holding, which is an increase of 13,000 passengers from the previous week,” GTAA spokesperson Tori Gass told CTV News Toronto.
“This represents almost 53 per cent of total international arriving passengers.”
Gass said the federal government has committed to increase staffing at Toronto Pearson, which has aided issues, but more must be done ahead of the summer travel season.
“While the addition of more CATSA and CBSA officers will help, there are still too many passengers being held on board aircraft, thus duplicative public health questions and processes are another unnecessary delay for international arriving passengers, particularly at peak times,” she said.
As a result, Toronto Pearson is still suggesting passengers arrive two hours ahead of domestic flights and three hours ahead of international flights.
This comes as the GTAA projects 45,000 international arrivals a day in the summer. After months of long line-ups, the country’s busiest airport has characterized the current predicament as “unsustainable.”
What are Canada’s COVID-19 travel restrictions?
Canada’s newly released extension of COVID-19 travel restrictions means tourists will still need to show proof of vaccination when entering Canada, and random COVID-19 testing will still take place.
Unvaccinated Canadians need to continue showing proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
All travellers must fill out the ArriveCan app before coming into the country.
Meanwhile, WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech is urging that these rules need to be dropped.
“As vaccines are not preventing the spreading of the virus since omicron, there is no more logic to maintain it. This will also relax some of the operational challenges at the airports,” he wrote on Twitter.
A day before Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada announced the extension of restrictions, local leaders also pushed for the opposite outcome.
“The recent travel experience will have detrimental and lasting effects on how our region is perceived on the international stage and is having negative impacts on new international investment for the Toronto region,” Victoria Clarke, CEO of Tourism Mississauga, said on Monday.
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