Peel Region’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh stated that, even as vaccinations roll out and COVID-19 cases come down, the restrictions will need to be strengthened once again to prevent future crises. Talking to the media, Dr. Loh stated:
“It’s like a giant puzzle. Once you’ve got the community transmission puzzle under control, with the different workplaces and social things and families and close contact and isolation and all those puzzle pieces together, you can’t forget about the travel puzzle piece.”
He talked to the press and said that even when life returns to normal in Canada, a much longer stay in a quarantined hotel may be needed to protect the progress.
Dr. Loh added:
“You might need to look at managed isolation and quarantine the way that they’ve done in Australia and New Zealand, which is you know, 14 days, no exceptions ensuring that you’re basically in hotel quarantine, which is really not what we have right now.”
Right now, travellers who arrive in Canada by air are expected to present a negative COVID-19 test at the airport. They should take the test and stay in quarantine as well. Eight days after arrival, they are supposed to take another test.
Even with all these measures, three hotels, the Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn Toronto Airport and the Hampton Inn and suites, reported outbreaks.
Dr. Loh concluded:
“The reality is that once we get community transmission under control, then you start to get concerns about the border introductions particularity of new variants in places that don’t have this under control.”