Toronto’s Pearson Airport apologizes, says numerous delays caused by increased COVID safety measures

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Toronto Pearson International Airport is apologizing after several customers took to social media to complain about extended delays and a lack of social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I would be way more forgiving of Toronto Pearson if they communicated the delays going on. Total failure for customer service tonight,” wrote Twitter user @markabelan.

“Thanks @TorontoPearson for the super spreader event. Comes with cheers when luggage appears #carryon,” said Twitter user @joeliherzog.

A statement provided by an airport spokesperson to Global News on Sunday said the issues were due to “increased COVID-19-related health screening measures implemented by the Government of Canada, coupled with the loosening of border restrictions to allow fully vaccinated U.S. travellers.”

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Another person tweeted he had been stuck on a landed plane for three hours.

The statement provided by the airport noted passengers and planes may have to be held during peak hours to “reduce the number of passengers entering the customs-controlled area.

“Baggage is also held until there is space in the baggage hall to maintain safety around the carousels,” the statement continued, in reference to the photo taken by @joeliherzog which showed a large number of people in baggage claim which appeared to show a lack of social distancing.

The airport said there are some areas where physical distancing may not be able to be sustainable and therefore, the Canadian government allows for a “layered approach” which includes multiple safety measures such as mask wearing, hand hygiene and ventilation systems.

“We apologize for the disruption in our passengers’ journeys and appreciate their patience as airport employees work hard to move passengers through the process.”

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