Prince Edward Island begins pilot project to test air travellers for COVID-19

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CHARLOTTETOWN — Prince Edward Island announced the start of a COVID-19 testing pilot project Tuesday for travellers arriving in the province by air.

Chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison told reporters the four-week project will assess the feasibility of using rapid tests on travellers.

Air travellers will have two swabs taken when they land on the Island: one for a rapid test and another that will be sent for confirmation at a provincial laboratory.

Morrison said the test on arrival does not exclude travellers from the mandatory 14-day isolation period for people arriving from outside the province.

She said authorities are looking to detect COVID-19 cases among travellers more quickly.

Morrison said it would likely be at least six weeks before conditions in the Atlantic region are stable enough to allow for travel within the four-province bubble that existed until rising case numbers ended it in November.

She said the province is looking closely at other jurisdictions as they loosen restrictions to monitor the spread of various variants of the virus.

No new cases of COVID-19 were reported in P.E.I. on Tuesday, leaving just one active reported infection. The province has had a total of 115 cases since the pandemic began.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2021.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press