Flights ban from India and Pakistan extended at Pearson Airport in Mississauga

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Published May 21, 2021 at 5:28 pm

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The ban on direct flights from India and Pakistan landing at Mississauga’s Pearson Airport has been extended for another month.

Federal officials announced today the ban is extended to June 21 to stop the spread into Canada of the variant that is devastating those two South Asian countries.

Flights that are considered essential, ones that carry health personal and vaccines, are still permitted to come to Canada.

While cases of the Indian variant — also known as B.1.617  — have been discovered in Peel Region and the rest of Ontario, it has largely been contained since the ban was first put into place in April.

Canada’s Transport Minister, Mississauga Centre MP Omar Alghabra, said the extension of the ban was necessary based on public health advice and so far it is working.

“I can say that we’ve seen a significant reduction in the number of positive cases of COVID-19 arriving from international flights since this restriction was put in place,” Alghabra said in a televised press briefing.

Although direct flights from Indian and Pakistan have been banned, people travelling for those countries can still enter Canada through connecting flights originating from other international locations. However, the data shows that travellers have largely respected the rules and have not been making the trip.

The B.1.617 variant has been classified as a “global concern” by the World Health Organization is believed to behind the rampant spread of the virus in India which has reached catastrophic proportions in that country with up to 300,000 new cases reported each day and leading to high death toll.

(Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn)

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