International passengers at Pearson airport may have to line up by vaccination status

TORONTO — International travellers arriving at Canada's largest airport may now be funnelled into different customs lines based on their vaccination status.

Toronto's Pearson International Airport said Saturday it may be splitting passengers coming from the U.S. or other international destinations into vaccinated and partially or non-vaccinated queues.

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"This is a measure to help streamline the border clearance process as there are different entry requirements for vaccinated and non/partially vaccinated travellers, which have been broadly communicated by the Government of Canada," said Beverly MacDonald, a spokeswoman for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority.

The Vancouver International Airport has instituted a similar policy.

Fully vaccinated Canadian citizens and permanent residents are now able to skip a 14-day quarantine.

As of Aug. 9, fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents will be allowed into Canada, followed by the rest of the world on Sept 7.

Ontario reported 170 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and three more deaths.

In Toronto, there were 44 new cases, with another 26 in Peel Region, 17 in Hamilton, 15 in the Region of Waterloo and 13 in Grey Bruce.

The numbers were based on 19,131 tests.

There were 132 patients in intensive care with critical COVID-related illness and 86 on ventilators.

More than 124,000 doses of vaccines were administered in the previous day, for a total of more than 18.8 million.

Of the 170 new cases, 122 of them are in people under age 40, while just one of the new cases is in someone 80 or older.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 24, 2021.

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