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BCCDC identifies more flights to Vancouver exposed to COVID-19

Additional restrictions on travel from Mexico and the Caribbean go into effect on Sunday
COVID-19 flight
The BC Centre for Disease Control has identified more flights coming into Vancouver with exposures to the coronavirus.

The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is asking recent flyers to check they were not exposed to the coronavirus (COVID-19) on multiple recent flights to Vancouver.

On Monday, Jan. 25, Vancouver Is Awesome reported on six new B.C. flights that were added to the list of potential COVID-19 public exposures.

Since then, the following four flights have been added to the BCCDC's list of affected flights:

  • Jan. 20: Air Canada 128, Vancouver to Toronto (Rows affected 30-36) 
  • Jan. 24: Aeromexico 696, Mexico City to Vancouver (Rows affected not reported) 
  • Jan. 24: WestJet 186, Vancouver to Edmonton (Rows affected 15-19)
  • Jan. 26: Air Canada 255, Kelowna to Vancouver (Rows affected 20-26)

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. 

New travel restrictions

In a bid to thwart variants of COVID-19 from entering the country, Canada is suspending all flights to Mexico and the Caribbean.

These new restrictions imposed by the federal government were announced on Friday and will go into effect Sunday, Jan. 31. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also revealed Friday that all international travellers will only be able to land at airports in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal beginning next week.

Travellers who arrive in those cities will be required to take a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test at the airport to determine if they have COVID-19.

Those travellers will then be required to wait at an approved hotel for up to three days at their own expense as they await test results.

Trudeau estimated the cost of the hotel stays would run about $2,000.

Those who test negative will be able to quarantine at home, while those international travellers who test positive will be sent to a designated government facility to quarantine.

The new measures come after the prime minister repeatedly urged Canadians throughout January not to depart the country on non-essential travel in the event new restrictions are imposed.

- With files from Tyler Orton / BIV