Canada has been very strict when it comes to adopting coronavirus prevention measures. The borders are closed to most international travelers even now; only certain groups are exempted. Canada also implemented a mandatory quarantine policy for all international travelers.
While most provinces are still following these rules, Alberta decided to take the initiative and introduce a COVID-19 testing program for people arriving in the province. Currently, the province is offering the test at two ports of entry. These include the Coutts border crossing located in southern Alberta and the Calgary International Airport.
The objective of this program is to reduce the quarantine period for travelers who test negative. The smaller the quarantine duration is, the sooner people will be able to resume their regular lives.
How has the pilot fared?
Reports from The Canadian Press state that the number of positive tests is not alarming by any means. In fact, it has remained fairly low. As of December 10, Alberta had tested just over 14,000 travelers. Only 1.4% of the candidates tested positive for coronavirus after the first test. The percentage fell to 0.7% following the second test.
The pilot is going to continue for six months. Alternatively, the pilot might close once 52,000 passengers agree to the test after arriving in the country. The Edmonton International Airport might also start offering the test from next year.
International travelers are allowed to register for the test up to 5 days before their arrival in the country. The ones who opt for it will have to self-isolate for a day or two until they get their test results. They won’t have to quarantine anymore if their results are negative. They will have to take another test in a week or so.