TORONTO -- Nearly a week after declaring a state of emergency and imposing a stay-at-home order, Ontario Premier Doug Ford is urging people to avoid travelling into the province amid the third wave.

At a news conference with other Canadian premiers, Ford described Ontario's pandemic picture as "critical" and said now is not the time for travel between provinces.

"We're encouraging all residents of each province to stay at home, not to be flying into Ontario or flying out of Ontario," Ford said.

Ford's comment came after health officials in Quebec suggested tighter border controls or restrictions where necessary to confront the growing number of cases in Canada, largely driven by the variants of concern.

The Canada-U.S. border has been closed since Mar. 2020 for vacations and non-essential trips to help stop the spread of the virus.

Despite that, thousands of passengers are scheduled to arrive and depart from Toronto Pearson International Airport today alone.

Ford also granted himself a personal travel exemption -- to pick up doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the United States should the Joe Biden administration release additional doses to Canada.

"I'll hop in my pickup truck and drive down there, and I'm sure other premiers will hop in the back with me and drive down there together to pick them up," Ford said.

The last batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in the U.S. was delivered to Canada by truck.