Chaos and confusion at Canadian airports over new COVID-19 testing rules – .

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Chaos and confusion at Canadian airports over new COVID-19 testing rules – .


“If I knew it was going to be like this, (we wouldn’t have made) this trip”

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EDMONTON – Confusion is growing at some Canadian airports that say they want more guidance from the federal government since it changed the COVID-19 testing rules for travelers.

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As health officials around the world warned of the new Omicron variant, Ottawa announced earlier this week that all air passengers entering Canada, except those arriving from the United States, must be tested on arrival and isolated until they get their results.

The rule also applies to those who are fully vaccinated against the virus.

But there were few details on when testing started.

Giovanni Taboylilson said he was tired and bewildered after arriving at Edmonton International Airport from Jamaica on Thursday. He said he was told by airport officials during his stopover in Toronto that new rules would come into effect at midnight.

He said he was randomly selected for a test in Toronto, was told his results would be available in three days and that he was allowed to continue to Edmonton.

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“They stamped my passport and let me go, so that didn’t make sense,” said the 25-year-old DJ after visiting family in Jamaica for eight months.

Taboylilson, who is fully vaccinated, said he tested negative in Jamaica before boarding his flight and was not told to get tested again or quarantine once arrived in Edmonton pending its results.

Toronto Pearson International Airport told travelers on Twitter that it was still awaiting more details on the new requirements.

“This new mandate has yet to be formalized by our federal government,” the airport said on Twitter in response to a question from someone whether her husband would undergo testing and self-isolate after arriving at the airport. Canada.

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“We are awaiting information on when and how this will be carried out. “

In Edmonton, an airport spokesperson said staff are in talks with Transport Canada, which is working to set up testing for all travelers as soon as possible.

“We don’t have a fixed date for the start of testing, but we expect it to start in the next few days,” Steve Maybee said in an email.

Lumturige Hijrullahu, who was traveling to Los Angeles from Edmonton, said she was confused due to changing regulations and unclear direction from the government.

“I’m not sure what we should do when I get back,” Hijrullahu said.

She said she was frustrated because she didn’t know what she would do when she returned in a week.

“If I knew it was going to be like this, (we wouldn’t have made) this trip.” “

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A spokesperson for Calgary International Airport said it has been testing its international travelers since fall 2020.

“We have already started working with all of our partners to scale up operations to meet the new requirements announced on Tuesday,” said Krista Ouellette.

“We look forward to further details from federal officials with advice on some outstanding issues. “

The president of the Canadian Airports Council has urged the government to work with airports to ensure that the measures – “which have not been seen in detail” – are implemented.

“The only operationally feasible way to test 100% of arriving international travelers -om all countries except the United States – is to provide off-site testing, such as those travelers can take at their homes. or another point of self-isolation. Suggested Daniel-Robert Gooch.

“We also need to make sure that there is sufficient testing capacity to implement this in any groups of travelers that will now be needed. “

– With additional reporting from Maan Alhmidi in Toronto and Daniela Germano in Edmonton

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