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COVID-19: Ottawa limits international arrivals to 4 Canadian airports

COVID-19: Ottawa limits international arrivals to 4 Canadian airports
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

This article was updated on March 16th at 3:15 p.m. 

Only international airports in Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto will accept travellers from outside Canada, according to a report published in La Presse on Monday morning (March 16th). 

The news was confirmed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday afternoon at a press conference, at which the PM updated Canadians on his government's plan to curb the global spread of COVID-19. 

Starting Wednesday, March 18th, only four Canadian airports will accept international flights. This being Toronto Pearson, Montréal–Trudeau, Vancouver International and Calgary International.  

Trudeau noted that domestic flights and flights from the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean and Saint Pierre and Miquelon will not be impacted by the order. 

The restriction will also not apply to commerce or trade.

READ MORE: Canada closes border to most foreigners; airlines ordered to ban those with symptoms from boarding

The news comes one day after Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam told reporters on Sunday that cases of COVID-19 are “rapidly increasing” in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario and that “our window to flatten the curve of the outbreak is narrow.”

Ontario saw its largest single-day jump in COVID-19 cases that same day, confirming 39 new cases of the virus, pushing the provincial total to 142, including five patients who have recovered.

As of Sunday there were 313 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada. However, there are concerns that the number is actually much higher.

All ten provinces now have confirmed cases of the virus.

To that end, close to 25,000 people in Canada have, so far, been tested for COVID-19, Dr. Tam confirmed.

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