January 15th, 2021

Minister to reveal details on controversial COVID-19 testing rules for travellers


By The Canadian Press on January 6, 2021.

People line up and check in for an international flight at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

OTTAWA – Transport Minister Marc Garneau is expected to unveil more details today on COVID-19 testing requirements for passengers returning to Canada.

Garneau announced last week that air travellers coming from abroad will have to show proof of negative test results, starting this Thursday at 12:01 a.m.

He said the PCR test – distinct from a rapid test, and taking up to several days to process – must occur less than 72 hours before takeoff.

Airlines and passengers say the plan leaves a swirl of unanswered questions and threatens to leave travellers stranded overseas.

Carriers say they were not consulted on the testing scheme, which they will be responsible for enforcing at check-in counters around the globe.

Garneau said last week that passengers returning from countries where tests are unavailable would be required to quarantine at a “federal facility” for two weeks, while those with test results in hand would still have to quarantine for two weeks at home.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 6, 2021.

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