Random COVID-19 testing returns in four major Canadian airports

·2 min read

Travellers returning to Canada by air through one of four major airports may be pulled aside for a random COVID-19 test starting last Tuesday after the federal government brought back random testing after cases began to rise across Canada in recent weeks.

The four airports concerned are Montreal-Dorval, Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary.

The difference this time around, however, is that testing will be done offsite either by an in-person appointment at select testing provider locations and pharmacies, or by a virtual appointment for a self-swab test.

The government paused random testing of travellers on June 11.

Random testing of land travellers is also being conducted.

Travellers will be notified by an email within 15 minutes of completing the Canadian Security and Border Agency’s (CSBA) customs declaration. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers could be selected for the test.

The rules taking effect today won’t change the process for partially vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers. Those individuals will continue to be required to get a test upon arrival into the country and on day eight of their mandatory 14-day quarantine.

If selected for the random test, unvaccinated travellers will be able to complete their tests by a virtual appointment or by an in-person appointment with a test provider at select stores or pharmacies to stay within their mandatory quarantine requirements.

To qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller to Canada, travellers must have been vaccinated with a primary series of a approved COVID-19 vaccines by the federal government for the purpose of travel at least two weeks before entering Canada.

According to a government statement, if a traveller’s arrival test result is positive, they must go into isolation and follow the federal requirement to isolate for 10 days from the date of the test result. Even if the isolation requirement is shorter in a traveller’s province or territory, the federal government requires the full 10 days of isolation.

Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Iori:wase

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