Military deploys recon teams to border as feds prepare border-testing sites

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OTTAWA — The Canadian Armed Forces is deploying reconnaissance teams to the border as the federal government prepares to enlist the military's help in screening travellers for COVID-19.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last week that all non-essential travellers arriving at the border by land will be tested starting Feb. 22 before they are allowed to enter the country.

Travellers will still be required to quarantine for 14 days, after which they will be tested again.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is now looking at setting up testing sites at 16 border crossings with the U.S. with assistance from the Canadian Armed Forces and other federal departments.

Defence Department spokeswoman Jessica Lamirande says that military assistance includes sending some service members to different sites to help with planning and logistics.

Lamirande says discussions on the exact nature of the military's assistance with running the testing sites remain ongoing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 15, 2021.

The Canadian Press