Air travellers will soon need to test negative for COVID-19 before landing in Canada, according to a Dec. 30 report by the Canadian Press (CP).
The federal government reportedly made the decision on Wednesday morning and plans to unroll the new requirement quickly.
CP confirmed the update with Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, who didn’t state exactly when the new rules would kick in, but other reports indicate that it could happen in a matter of days.
Passengers on flights entering Canada will soon require a negative PCR test three days before their arrival into the country.
It is still unclear how Canada's mandatory 14-day quarantine order will factor into this new rule.
On Wednesday afternoon, Transport Canada posted a brief update on Twitter, stating: "We are finalizing the details to introduce a requirement for pre-departure #COVID19 testing for travellers flying into Canada."
Testing coming to Pearson
The news unfolds on the same day that it was revealed that Toronto Pearson International Airport would be receiving its own COVID-19 testing project in early 2021.
According to a Dec. 30 report published by the National Post, the initiative will aim to test roughly 315,000 travellers for COVID-19 over a three-month period.
A spokesperson for Ontario Premier Doug Ford told the Post that the project, which has yet to be finalized, will launch “in the early new year” and will be a joint effort between the Ontario and federal governments.
All this comes following criticism that Canada’s travel restrictions, quarantine rules and border protections have been too lax.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has been one of the most vocal critics, blasting Ottawa for not moving fast enough on implementing COVID-19 screening measures at airports.
Ford has previously vowed to launch his own testing program at Toronto Pearson, with or without federal support.
Wednesday's announcements also come after Ontario's finance minister, Rod Phillips, was recently caught vacationing in St. Barts, despite Canadians being asked to avoid leisure travel this winter.
“We strongly advise against travel unless absolutely necessary,” Blair said at a news conference in Ottawa on Wednesday.
Minister Blair also said that Canada Border Service Agency agents will also be increased at the border to ensure travellers understand the new rules.
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