The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) announced yesterday (June 29) that it is extending current border rules in effect for at least three months. In addition, the pause of mandatory random testing at all airports will continue until mid-July for travelers who are fully vaccinated. Random testing at land borders will continue until further notice.
PHAC said the pause in airport testing will allow airports to focus on streamlining their operations while the Canadian government worked on moving its testing of air travelers to outside providers such as stores and pharmacies or through virtual appointments. Canadian airports have experienced high traffic volumes and seriously congested passenger flows.
Travelers entering Canada by land and air will still be required to use the ArriveCAN app, a source of frustration to border communities such as Point Roberts and Blaine. The government of Canada says the use of ArriveCAN and random border testing “allows for the detection and identification of new Covid-19 variants of concern that could pose a serious risk to the health and safety of Canadians. In addition, this data has and continues to inform the Government of Canada’s safe easing of border measures.”
In the period dating April 1 to June 10, 2022, 271,886 air travelers were randomly tested returning a positive Covid-19 rate of 3.31 percent. In the same period, 44,205 land travelers were tested with 2.66 percent posting positive results. By way of comparison, from July 5 to August 8, 2021, 245,615 air travelers were tested for a positive rate of 0.2 percent; 79,450 land travelers returned a positive rate of 0.09 percent.
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