On Friday, March 20, the Globe and Mail published an article that describes Toronto Pearson’s role and preparedness in responding to COIVD-19 and bringing Canadians home.
At Toronto Pearson, we are coming together—government agency employees, airlines, cleaning staff, and partners in first response—with a shared goal of caring for our passengers.
- Our air carrier partners are screening for symptoms at the point of departure, and we are collaborating with them to space arriving passengers to create social distancing when passengers arrive into our terminals.
- Our partners at the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) have increased their presence and their communication to passengers.
- CBSA officers and kiosks are asking new questions related to traveller health, and asking for an acknowledgement of the 14-day self-isolation requirement. CBSA is working with arrival airports to segregate symptomatic passengers immediately.
- Within our terminals we have increased signage (see attached examples), the cleaning of kiosks, seats and other high contact areas, and are increasing space between arriving passengers by removing seats and managing queues. To date, we have gone through 1,000 litres of hand sanitizer, 180,000 sanitizing wipes and 1,500L of disinfectant.
Additionally, the airport and its workforce are continuing to move essential medical products, food and other goods vital to supporting our community’s health, wellbeing and recovery. Click on the link below to read more about a special cargo delivery of lifesaving medical supplies courtesy of Alibaba Group and the Jack Ma Foundation as a prime example of Toronto Pearson’s role in keeping Canada’s supply chain moving.
Restrictions on arrivals
- As of Saturday, March 21, the United States and Canada are temporarily restricting all non-essential travel across borders. This measure will be in place for 30 days.
- As of Wednesday, March 18 at midnight, international flights arriving in Canada were restricted to four airports: Toronto Pearson, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal. Only Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be permitted through these four airports. Foreign nationals (without symptoms) are permitted to connect over Toronto Pearson to an onward destination and certain categories of foreign nationals are exempt (e.g. temporary foreign workers, International students on VISAs, etc.).
- Many stores and restaurants at Toronto Pearson have closed. For those that have remained opened, hours have been reduced and you may notice that seating is being removed and reconfigured to encourage physical distancing; In most cases, food is delivery or take-out only.
- The Terminal Link Train is operating on a revised schedule to encourage social distancing for both employees and passengers.
- Effective March 19, all US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler Program Enrollment Centers will suspend operations until at least May 1, 2020. This temporary closure includes all public access to Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, and FAST enrollment locations.
As a critical link in Canada’s supply chain, Toronto Pearson handles 45 per cent of Canada’s air cargo. Canada’s largest airport is well positioned to welcome more freight aircraft at a time where passenger traffic is limited due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Toronto Pearson is already taking steps to refocus operations to support the movement of critical goods, preserve jobs and support community needs.
This means making sure lifesaving medicine continues to reach the critically ill; this means acting as a channel to keep medical equipment moving at a time of great need; and this means ensuring Canada’s food supply remains in surplus.
Toronto Pearson is committed to working with our airline partners and business community to support this activity.
Staying up to date
You can always find the latest information on the COVID-19 response at Toronto Pearson, here.