Hong Kong to Toronto: Still no extra coronavirus screening at Toronto's Pearson International after Trudeau announces border to be shut down

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Still no enhanced screening at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport — even for travellers arriving from Hong Kong!

That’s what I discovered on my visit to Pearson’s Terminal 3 on Monday evening. Indeed, despite so many institutions ranging from sports stadia to restaurants altering their business practices to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, it was business as usual at Pearson.

In fact, travellers exiting flights said that no new measures were in place, such as remote body temperature monitoring. And self-quarantine for 14 days remains a voluntary procedure.

How odd! Because earlier that day, Bill Blair, Toronto’s former police chief and current Minister of Public Safety, had tweeted the following: “Since the disease first began to spread in Hubei, we immediately took action by enhancing our border measures through additional screening questions, examinations, and advice to mitigate the risk to passengers and others.”

Really, Bill?

I’ve been visiting Pearson International since January interviewing arriving passengers from such hot spots as China and Iran — and not once has anyone ever noticed any additional screening measures (unless, that is, being handed a flyer about the coronavirus can be considered a “screening measure.”)

Also on Monday, I attempted to interview a Canada Border Services Agency guard about this discrepancy but he wanted nothing to do with questions about that.

Oh well. Let’s see what happens tomorrow when new security measures are implemented at Canadian airports. And forgive us for being skeptics, but we’ll believe it when we see it.

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  • By David Menzies

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