Beginning Nov. 2, Calgary International Airport is starting a pilot program to administer COVID-19 tests on arrival to some international passengers. The project is a joint initiative of the government of Alberta and the government of Canada.
Currently, the Canadian border is closed to tourism and non-essential trips, meaning all travelers entering the country have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine period. Participants in the pilot program will undergo a COVID-19 test as soon as they arrive at Calgary airport, then will have to quarantine until the test results come back.
If the test returns a negative result, the travelers will then be allowed to leave their place of quarantine. They will then have to get a second COVID-19 test on day six or seven after their arrival, at a community pharmacy participating in the pilot program.
Eligible candidates must be returning Canadian citizens, permanent residents or foreign nationals currently permitted entry into Canada, and those who have no COVID-19 symptoms. All returning international travelers who elect not to participate in the program still have to abide by the 14-day quarantine period.
“Participants will be closely monitored through daily symptoms checks. They will also be required to follow enhanced preventive health measures, such as wearing masks in public places and avoiding visiting high-risk groups,” according to a statement from the government of Alberta.
“YYC Calgary International Airport is proud to be the first and only airport in Canada to have a government-approved testing pilot for arriving international passengers – which we hope will lead to reducing and one day eliminating the current 14-day self-isolation requirements,” said Bob Sartor, president and CEO, the Calgary Airport Authority.
“This innovative testing is the lifeline our airport and airline partners need to instill confidence in air travel,” he added.