Survey: A negative test is needed
Photo: The Canadian Press
Canada’s new COVID-19 testing requirement for international travelers has caused hundreds of people to miss flights in just the first week of the program’s launch.
Under the new restrictions, all passengers traveling to Canada from another country will be required to demonstrate a negative COVID-19 test conducted no later than 72 hours prior to departure.
Since the probation warrant went into effect Jan. 7, WestJet has denied boarding at least 385 guests because they did not meet the requirements, spokeswoman Morgan Bell said.
Similarly, Air Transat has denied boarding at least 245 passengers for test-related reasons since Jan. 7, said airline spokeswoman Debbie Cabana.
Bell said the passengers were sidelined due to inadequate testing (antigen or antibody testing, instead of the usual required PCR testing in Canada), without any testing, or taking more than 72 hours before departure.
“Our teams have been doing their best to help guests and troubleshoot destinations in our network,” Bell said. “Our WestJet Vacations team works in destinations with our hotel partners to facilitate and arrange PCR tests whenever they are available to better assist our guests.”
At the time the test warrant was announced, Canada’s major airlines were unsuccessfully asking the government for an 11-day extension to implement the new rules, warning that they would lead to confusion for passengers.
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