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 Monday, Oct. 19, Vancouver Is Awesome shared two new Vancouver flights that were added to the list of potential COVID-19 public exposures.
Since then, the following eight new flights have been added to the BCCDC's list of affected flights:
- Oct. 15: Air Canada 8187, Vancouver to Fort St. John (Rows 2 - 6)
- Oct. 19, Air Canada 8484, Vancouver to Edmonton (Rows 7 - 13)
- Oct. 14: Air Canada 299, Winnipeg to Vancouver (Rows 21 - 27)
- Oct. 16: WestJet 714, Vancouver to Toronto (Rows 17 - 23)
- Oct. 17: WestJet 139, Calgary to Vancouver (Rows 1 - 7)
- Oct. 11: WestJet 141, Edmonton to Vancouver (Rows 1 - 6)
- Oct.14: Aeromexico 696, Mexico City to Vancouver (Not reported)
- Oct. 16: WestJet 725, Toronto to Vancouver (Rows 2 - 8)
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.