Airlines Denounce Ottawa’s Lack of Clarity

Airlines say many questions remain unanswered about the federal government’s decision to require travelers returning to Canada to test negative for COVID-19 abroad.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced Thursday that overseas air travelers will be required to show proof of a negative molecular test – known as the PCR test, performed with a nasal swab – which will have been performed in 72 hours before departure, unless the test is unavailable in that country.

National Airlines Council of Canada president and CEO Mike McNaney says the Department of Transportation has yet to provide a list of foreign agencies whose tests are deemed acceptable. He added that the ministry also did not specify how airline employees will determine whether a test document is valid.

The new measure, which imposes a 14-day quarantine in Canada regardless of the result of the test, will cause “confusion” and “frustration” among carriers and passengers, he said.

The new rule comes as the struggling aviation industry loses revenue following a collapse in demand caused by the pandemic.

It will come into effect amid criticism of the federal government for its Canada Economic Recovery Sickness Benefit (PCMRE), which will allow returning Canadians to earn $ 500 a week during their two-week quarantine.

 

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