TORONTO, Ontario, January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Starting today, all air travelers going to Canada must present a negative PCR COVID-19 test to their airline before being allowed to board their flight.
On December 31, Canada’s Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced the new entry requirements for air travelers entering Canada, which take effect January 7.
“Our government remains committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians. These new measures will provide another layer of protection for Canadians as we continue to assess public health risks and work to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Canada,” said Garneau of the new measures.
Should one not be able to obtain a PCR COVID-19 test in the country they are leaving from, an airline is allowed to let a person board but upon arrival into Canada, they must report to a government-approved COVID-19 quarantine camp and stay there for 14 days.
“Persons who are travelling from a country where PCR testing is unavailable will be required to report to a designated Public Health Agency of Canada quarantine facility for the duration of their mandatory 14-day quarantine. Delays in obtaining test results does not apply,” says Transport Canada.
According to the government press release from Transport Canada, the new requirements apply to passengers who are five years of age and over, who must produce a negative PCR test “within 72 hours of departure, unless the testing is unavailable in that country.”
For those who test negative, they still must complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine, and upon arrival must provide to border agents with an “adequate plan for isolation to avoid infecting others,” which must be electronically submitted.
The sudden change of entry requirements into Canada appeared to catch airlines off guard and has been blasted by the world’s top airline trade association, the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The IATA criticized the Canadian stated the new testing requirements are “the worst of both worlds” as passengers still need to quarantine upon arrival.
“It is both callous and impractical to impose this new requirement on travelers at such short notice. Moreover, it is completely unrealistic to mandate that airlines check passengers’ compliance with the new rule, as it cannot be the airline’s role to determine if a passenger tried their utmost to get tested or not,” said the IATA in their press release.
“Canada already has one the world’s most draconian Covid-19 border-control regimes, including travel bans and quarantines. Even though COVID-19 testing is an internationally accepted risk-mitigation strategy, there are no plans to adjust the current 14-day quarantine rule nor eliminate the temperature checks airlines are required to perform on passengers wishing to travel to Canada.”
The IATA went onto say that “no explanation has been provided” why only PCR tests are permitted, especially given they are not “readily available in many countries.”
“While the industry for months has been calling for systematic testing to reopen borders without quarantine measures, these pleas have fallen on deaf ears, especially in Canada,” said the IATA.
The organization added that the “way forward” is through a “well-planned and coordinated introduction of testing inbound travelers, as a replacement for quarantine measures.” Read Full Article >