TORONTO -- International travellers will have to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Ontario starting today in a bid to stop contagious new variants of the virus from further infiltrating the province.

The provincial government announced the plan on Friday, the same day the federal government announced a similar program that's to take effect in the coming weeks.

Premier Doug Ford praised the prime minister for announcing the new federal testing plan, but said Ontario would conduct its own traveller testing until Ottawa's program kicked in.

The testing order comes into effect today at Toronto's Pearson International airport, and will also eventually apply to the province's land border crossings to the United States.

Also today, schools will reopen in four more public health units in southern Ontario.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce said Thursday that students will be able to return to physical classrooms in the Ottawa, Eastern Ontario, Southwestern, and Middlesex-London public health units.

But schools in some other parts of the province harder hit by COVID-19 remain closed.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 1, 2021.