COVID-19 testing now available on some ferry crossings to P.E.I.

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A lineup of cars is shown as people arrive on P.E.I. via the ferry. Some rapid testing for COVID-19 will now take place onboard some Northumberland Ferries crossings to the Island. (Laura Meader/CBC - image credit)
A lineup of cars is shown as people arrive on P.E.I. via the ferry. Some rapid testing for COVID-19 will now take place onboard some Northumberland Ferries crossings to the Island. (Laura Meader/CBC - image credit)

Some COVID-19 rapid testing will now be offered on ferry crossings to Prince Edward Island.

Donald Cormier, vice-president and general manager of Northumberland Ferries, said testing and COVID-19 screening was taking place in a lounge on the MV Confederation on Tuesday.

Cormier said although testing is not available on every 75-minute crossing from Caribou, N.S., to Wood Islands, P.E.I., it will speed up the process for some travellers, as they will "likely" not have to present themselves to the testing site at the Island ferry terminal.

Health officials have been testing many people who arrive on P.E.I., at times causing wait times of up to an hour.

"It's another testament to Health PEI's commitment to public safety and offering the best experience possible for people visiting Prince Edward Island," said Cormier in a phone interview Wednesday.

"Whether it's a resident or someone from Atlantic Canada visiting the Island, everybody is motivated to providing the best experience possible."

Laura Meader/CBC
Laura Meader/CBC

Cormier said not everyone on board will be tested, but referred specific questions about testing numbers and future plans for onboard testing to public health.

In an email, a Health PEI spokesperson said the department could not provide an update on Wednesday, but would have more information later in the week.

During a media briefing last week, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said public health had been looking into onboard rapid testing, but noted Wi-Fi connectivity had prevented the move so far.

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