1 in 3 international travellers bypassing mandatory quarantine hotels: Ford

By Michael Talbot

Ontario premier Doug Ford doubled down on his federal finger pointing on Thursday, accusing Justin Trudeau’s government of “weak and porous” border policies that have allowed wealthy travellers to evade mandatory hotel quarantines by exploiting loopholes.

While announcing a two-week extension of Ontario’s stay-at-home order, Ford accused Trudeau of creating a “two-tier” quarantine system, where wealthy travellers can book private jets and expensive Uber and taxi rides to evade the controversial quarantine hotels.

“We’ve seen disturbing reports that over 88,000 travellers entering Canada on international flights have been able to bypass the mandatory three-day hotel requirement,” Ford said.

“One in three international air travellers are avoiding the quarantine system.”

Ford said private jets are “landing all over the province from Hawaii, Arizona, and all other sunny destinations,” while Ubers and taxis are picking people up at land borders.

“This is not emergency travel,” he stressed. “They’ve created a two-tier quarantine system.”

“If you can afford a private jet, you get to skip the quarantine.”

RELATED: Ontario extends stay-at-home order to June 2

Ford added that his government has made several formal requests for more measures at the border, but has been met with “crickets.”

Trudeau fired back at Ford’s relentless attacks last week.

“If the Ontario government wants to do more to restrict the volume of people coming into Ontario, we are more than happy to work with them on it,” Trudeau said during a conference Friday.

“But you know, it’s been a week since we’ve received that request directly from the premier, that they haven’t followed up on, except with personal attacks, which doesn’t make sense and frankly won’t help Ontarians.”

Green party Leader Mike Schreiner also slammed Ford for being preoccupied with attacking the federal government on border issues, saying he should in stead be doing more to prevent the main source of outbreaks – workplaces.

“The premier is using the border to deflect from his own failures to … avoid, or at least mitigate, the third wave,” he said.

Files from The Canadian Press were used in this report

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