Following a meeting with the provinces on April 29, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that international students will temporarily not be allowed to come to Ontario.
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. He asked for the federal government to put a stop to the arrival of international students.
“Because currently Ontario is the only province to request it, we are happy to work more closely with them,” Trudeau said in a press conference.
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.
Ford’s request to suspend international student travel to Ontario comes along with several pleas for tighter border restrictions. The premier also asked for land border crossers to be subject to the same three-day hotel quarantine as air travellers.
Ontario coronavirus situation
There were 4,715 new cases reported in Ontario on April 29, 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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