The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is warning airline passengers they may have been exposed to COVID-19 on multiple recent Vancouver flights.
On Thursday, Sept. 17, Vancouver Is Awesome shared several new Vancouver flights that were added to the list of potential COVID-19 public exposures.
Since then, the following nine flights have been added to the BCCDC's list of affected flights:
- Sept. 14: Flair Airlines, 8156, Vancouver to Regina (Rows 8 - 14)
- Sept. 13: West Jet 709, Toronto to Vancouver (Rows 19 - 25)
- Sept. 13: Air Canada 127, Toronto to Vancouver (Rows 18 - 21)
- Sept. 10: Air Canada 123, Toronto to Vancouver (Rows 26 - 32)
- Sept. 14: Air Canada 575, Los Angeles to Vancouver (Rows 18 - 24)
- Sept. 10: Philippine Airlines 116, Vancouver to Manila (Rows 46 - 52)
- Sept. 2: Air India, Flight 1143, New Delhi to Vancouver (Not reported)
- Sept. 10: Swoop Flight 200, Abbotsford to Edmonton (Not reported)
- Sept. 10: WestJet Flight 138, Vancouver to Calgary (Rows 7 - 13)
Any travellers returning to B.C. are encouraged to check the public health agency's website for updates about flights identified for the risk of exposure. Those travelling from outside of Canada, meanwhile, must arrive prepared with a 14-day self-isolation plan.
The country's two largest airlines ended their onboard seat distancing policies on July 1, raising health concerns amid a pandemic that has devastated the travel industry.
On social media, a few people ask why airlines are permitted to ignore physical distancing protocol while other businesses must adhere to them; others simply say they won't travel with airlines that don't have distancing policies in place.
Currently, the Government of Canada states that you should avoid all travel outside of the country until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a global travel advisory, the government notes that "This advisory overrides other risk levels on this page, with the exception of any risk levels for countries or regions where we advise to avoid all travel."
With files from The Canadian Press and Lindsay William-Ross.