Rolling out the latest restrictions is pretty complicated.👇
Toronto Pearson International Airport has confirmed that it is not testing all incoming international travellers just yet, as the federal government still needs some time to implement the new rules.
On Tuesday, November 30, federal officials announced updated measures for international air travellers entering Canada from outside the U.S. in response to rising concerns about the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.
Effective as of the same date, fully vaccinated passengers are required to take a COVID-19 test immediately upon arrival and isolate until they receive the results.
As stated above, at this point, it is random testing, the official start date for all testing has yet to be announced by the Federal Government.— Toronto Pearson (@Toronto Pearson) 1638651436
However, as of Sunday, Toronto Pearson has been unable to put the new program into effect.
In a statement to Narcity, the airport confirmed that it was "working together with the government on the specific details of the new testing requirements" and said additional information will be available in the coming days.
Pearson said that "not all passengers are being tested yet because the Government needs more time to put the infrastructure in place." However, they added that random testing of inbound international travellers has ramped up.
Speaking on Friday, December 3, Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos said that the latest requirements are being "progressively" implemented, due to limitations related to infrastructure, space and staffing.
Despite this, Duclos said all travellers should be prepared for the new requirements.
"Let me be very clear: All travellers should expect to be tested upon arrival and should be ready to isolate," he said.
While the minister of health confirmed that Canadian airports "will not be able to test every targeted traveller overnight," he said that randomized testing has already increased nationally, and capacity is growing each day.
He says the intention behind the most recent measures — which were first announced on November 26 — is to "mitigate travel-related spread of the Omicron variant in Canada."
Earlier the same week, passengers at Toronto Pearson complained of long lines and wait times. The airport told Narcity that "travel today can be more complicated given health requirements both in Canada and abroad."
A spokesperson recommended arriving earlier than usual to account for delays, as "passengers are experiencing longer than normal processing times."
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
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