As the tourism industry restarts across Canada, Vancouver International Airport is beginning to welcome more travellers back.
As of July 4, new federal guidelines mean that fully vaccinated travellers are exempt from the government-authorized hotel quarantine mandate. However, they are still required to register and undergo a COVID-19 test in the terminal.
Non-vaccinated or partially-vaccinated passengers are required to have the same test, but will then receive a test kit to complete a week later and proceed to their government-authorized hotel for quarantine.
Trevor Boudreau, the airport’s manager of government relations, says “enhanced multi-layer cleaning protocols” continue. And masks are required as soon as people enter an airport building.
Boudreau says domestic travel makes up the “lion’s share” of people coming through the airport, although terminal buildings—previously only accessible by travellers—are now open again to members of the public. He says there is also free rapid testing available for employees, on a voluntary basis.
“It’s not the most pleasant experience—it’s not just once around the nose, it’s a bit more invasive,” he adds.
The airport’s vice-president of passenger journey Robyn McVicker says she and her team are pleased with the government’s “safe, phased” approach to resuming travel.
“We will continue to follow these plans and the direction of public health authorities to implement measures focused on keeping our communities safe while beginning to reopen the visitor economy. As measures ease, we are committed to keeping our community and passengers informed of what to expect at the airport. We are asking travellers to be prepared, be patient and have confidence—[the airport] and our partners are ready to deliver a safe, effortless experience,” says McVicker.
Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel