HERE WE GO AGAIN

Ottawa Resumes Mandatory Testing of Airport Arrivals

Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos (left) and Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra (right).
Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos (left) and Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra (right).

Calling it "an important tool in Canada's detection and surveillance of COVID-19," the Government of Canada is resuming mandatory random testing as of 19JUL for fully vaccinated pax arriving at the country's four major airports - YVR, YYC, YUL, and YYZ.

"As we have said all along, Canada's border measures will remain flexible and adaptable, guided by science and prudence. We need to keep border testing measures in place because that is how we track importation of the COVID-19 virus, and of new variants of concern. We will keep adapting our border measures to balance the need to protect Canadians while supporting our economic recovery," said Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos.

Ottawa had paused mandatory random testing for those entering Canada by air on 11JUN, 2022, as part of a broader strategy to transition testing for air travellers outside of the airports.

According to a statement on 14JUL, all testing for air pax for both those who qualify as fully vaccinated and partially or unvaccinated people, will be completed outside of airports, either via an in-person appointment at select testing provider locations and pharmacies, or a virtual appointment for a self-swab test. Travellers who do not qualify as fully vaccinated, unless exempt, must continue to test on Day 1 and Day 8 of their mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The government says that  moving testing outside of airports will support testing for travellers arriving by air while still being able to monitor and quickly respond to new variants of concern.

Mandatory random testing continues at land border points of entry, with no changes.

HOW IT WORKS

  1. Air travellers who qualify as fully vaccinated and who are selected for mandatory random testing, as well as air travellers who do not qualify as fully vaccinated, will receive an email notification within 15 minutes of completing their customs declaration.
  2. The email will contain information to help them arrange for their test with a testing provider in their region.
  3. Unvaccinated travellers can complete their tests by a virtual appointment or an in-person appointment with the test provider at their store or at select pharmacies and still respect their quarantine requirements.
  4. All vaccinated travellers who are randomly selected for the border testing surveillance program must complete arrival mandatory testing requirements.
  5. If your arrival test result is positive, you must go into isolation and follow the federal requirement to isolate for 10 days from the date of the test result. Your 10-day isolation is required, even if the isolation requirement is shorter in your province or territory.

All travellers must continue to use ArriveCAN to provide mandatory travel information within 72 hours before their arrival in Canada, and/or before boarding a cruise ship destined for Canada, with few exceptions.

"As demand for travel increases across the world, today's announcement marks an important step in our progress to streamline testing processes outside our airports while preventing the further spread of COVID-19," added Transport Minister Omar Alghabra in the statement. "The Government of Canada will continue to protect travellers and employees and ensure our transportation system is safe, reliable, and resilient for the long term."

 

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