If all travellers are expected to be tested at airports, industry groups say Canada’s plan to mandate new coronavirus checks for all, but U.S. arrivals on international routes risk producing “chaos” and long waits. Officials mentioned that the decision, which was announced on Tuesday, comes as the vacation season ramps up, putting a strain on airport resources and putting holiday travellers’ patience to the test.
Airports can’t test all international arrivals on it without extended wait periods, according to Daniel Gooch, president of the Canadian Airports Council. On Wednesday, he asked over the phone, “Do we really want people queuing hours for a test in a customs hall?”
“We want to stay away from chaos. We also want to make sure that travellers who have booked vacations are able to travel in comfort.” Efforts to stem the spread of the Omicron coronavirus strain, Canada announced on Tuesday that everyone travelling abroad by air, except the United States, will be required to take a COVID-19 test.
Currently, only passengers from foreign trips are randomly picked for testing at airports by private companies with whom the government has contracts. The announcement came as the country’s aviation industry, which had been hit hard by the pandemic, was hoping for a better festive season this year.
The policy’s implementation date, who will administer the tests, and whether the tests would be administered on-site or through take-home kits were all unknown on Wednesday. Meanwhile, several travellers who had hurried to plan trips just weeks before due to lessening regulations were getting a little worried.
“I have a number of customers who have decided to cancel and are now looking into what refunds they could be eligible for,” said Marty Firestone of Travel Secure insurance, who added that the travel environment was improving.
Source: CTV News