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 Saturday, Oct. 31, Vancouver Is Awesome shared six new B.C. flights that were added to the list of potential COVID-19 public exposures.
Since then, the following five new flights have been added to the BCCDC's list of affected flights:
- Oct 23: Air Canada 127, Toronto to Vancouver (Rows 19 - 25)
- Oct 23: WestJet 725, Toronto to Vancouver (Rows 4 - 10)
- Oct 28: WestJet 725, Toronto to Vancouver (Rows 4 - 8)
- Oct. 19: United Airlines 466, Denver to Vancouver (Not reported)
- Oct. 21: Air Canada 103, Toronto to Vancouver (Rows 27 - 30)
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.