More than 30 international flights land in Toronto since start of 2021 with a passenger who later tested positive for COVID-19

An Air Canada plane is seen landing at Toronto Pearson International Airport. (Tom Podolec / CTV News Toronto)

Since the start of 2021, more than 30 international flights have landed in Toronto with a passenger who later tested positive for COVID-19.

According to data publicly released by the federal government, the flights touched down between Jan. 1 and Jan 9. 

They arrived from various destinations around the world, some of which include the United States, Pakistan, Germany, Ireland, Brazil and Mexico.

Despite some airlines and travel companies still promoting international travel, the federal government is strongly advising Canadians against leaving the country. 

For those who do, it is mandatory to self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of whether or not they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. International travellers also now require a negative COVID-19 test before arriving in Canada. 

Earlier this month, Premier Doug Ford announced a free and voluntary testing program for international travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

"This is a critical step," Ford said at the airport on Jan. 6. "Travellers coming into Pearson will be able to take a free and voluntary test."

Travellers who receive a negative COVID-19 test will still be required to self-isolate for 14 days, but Ford said he is "actively working to further enhance the program."

Ontario's Minister of Health Christine Elliott said the next stage of the program would be modifying the 14-day quarantine period for people who test negative. 

Eligible travellers are able pre-register for the program or proceed to get tested when they arrive at the airport. Those who choose to participate in the program will be given a test that will be self-administered with the guidance of a health-care provider.

The test results will be reported within 48 hours and local public health units will follow up with each person who tested positive.

According to the provincial government, more than 60,000 international travellers are arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport each week despite the ongoing pandemic.

Ford has previously slammed the federal government for not testing international travellers when they arrive back in Canada. 

In late December, he vowed to begin testing people at Toronto Pearson International Airport with or without the federal government's support. 

The premier said at the time that more than 64,000 people are going "basically unchecked" through the airport every week. He claimed that almost no travellers coming into the country are following the 14-day quarantine rules.

The international flights since Jan. 1 with someone who later tested positive for COVID-19 include:

  • Emirates flight EK241 from Dubai to Toronto on Jan. 1
  • Air Canada flight AC7647 from Newark to Toronto on Jan. 1
  • Air Canada flight AC939 from Tampa to Toronto
  • Westjet flight WS2581 from Cancun to Toronto on Jan. 1
  • Sunwing flight WG514 from Cancun to Toronto on Jan. 2
  • Emirates flight EK241 from Dubai to Toronto on Jan. 2
  • Air Transat flight TS141 from Punta Cana to Toronto on Jan. 2
  • Air Canada flight AC7687 from Boston to Toronto on Jan. 2
  • Air Canada flight AC843 from Dublin to Toronto on Jan. 2
  • Air Canada flight AC1421 from Varadero to Toronto on Jan. 2
  • Westjet flight WS1175 from Fort Myers to Toronto on Jan. 3
  • United Airlines flight UA3862 from Washington to Toronto on Jan. 3
  • Pakistan International Airlines flight PK797 from Lahore to Toronto on Jan. 3
  • Lufthansa flight LH470 from Frankfurt to Toronto on Jan. 3
  • LOT Polish Airlines flight LO45 from Warsaw to Toronto on Jan. 3
  • Etihad Airways flight EY141 from Abu Dhabi to Toronto on Jan. 3
  • American Airlines from AA3080 from Chicago to Toronto on Jan. 3
  • Air Canada flight AC91 from Sao Paula to Toronto on Jan. 3
  • Air Canada flight AC983 from Montego Bay to Toronto on Jan. 3
  • Air Canada flight AC790 from Los Angeles to Toronto on Jan. 3
  • Air Canada flight AC941 from Fort Myers to Toronto on Jan. 3
  • Ethiopian Airlines flight ET552 from Addis Ababa to Toronto on Jan. 4
  • Air Canada flight AC873 from Frankfurt to Toronto on Jan. 5
  • Air Canada flight AC1713 from Punta Cana to Toronto on Jan. 4
  • Air Canada flight AC843 from Dublin to Toronto on Jan. 4
  • Avianca flight AV626 from San Salvador to Toronto on Jan. 5
  • Air Transat flight TS657 from Holguin to Toronto on Jan. 5
  • Air Canada flight AC1673 from Orlando to Toronto on Jan. 5
  • Copa Airlines flight CM470 from Panama City to Toronto on Jan. 6
  • Air Canada flight AC873 from Frankfurt to Toronto on Jan. 7
  • Air Canada flight AC911 from Fort Lauderdale to Toronto on Jan. 9