Following a meeting with the provinces on April 29, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is putting in motion the steps to suspend international student travel to Ontario.
“Premier Ford asked that we suspend the arrival of international students,” Trudeau said. “Because at this time Ontairo is the only province requesting this, we are happy to work more narrowly with them. We will be reaching out to their officials today (April 30) to formalize that request.”
The premier’s office later said they did not make a formal request for the federal government to halt international students from entering the province. In a press conference, Ontario Premier Doug Ford told reporters he pleaded with the prime minister to do more to combat the spread of coronavirus. Ford called for land border crossers to be subject to the same three-day hotel quarantine as air travellers.
The federal government will work with Ontario “to formalize” Premier Doug Ford’s request to suspend the arrival of international students, PM Trudeau announces at a news conference in Ottawa. Ontario is the only province seeking this restriction, the PM says.#cdnpoli | #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/h2gkbJNMwo
— CPAC (@CPAC_TV) April 30, 2021
Neither the provincial nor federal governments have yet said when the change will take effect, nor how long it will last. The federal government has jurisdiction over entry to Canada. Any request from a province that affects international travel has to be approved and enforced by the federal government in Ottawa.
International students going to certain institutions are currently exempt from Canada’s travel restrictions. As with all non-essential travellers to Canada, they must comply with the mandatory quarantine requirements, and COVID-19 tests.
There were 3,887 new cases reported in Ontario on April 30, more than any other province. Ontario’s hospitals admitted an all-time high number of patients in mid-April. Almost 2,400 people were hospitalized at the peak.
Ontario officials are forecasting everyone over the age of 18 will be able to book a coronavirus vaccine by May 24.
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