Poll: negative test required
Photo: The Canadian Press
Canada’s new COVID-19 test requirement for international travelers has caused hundreds of people to miss flights only in the first week of the program’s launch.
Under the new restrictions, all passengers flying to Canada from another country must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test done no later than 72 hours before departure.
Since the test order went into effect on January 7, WestJet has denied boarding at least 385 passengers because they did not meet the requirements, said spokeswoman Morgan Bell.
Likewise, Air Transat has denied boarding at least 245 passengers for test-related reasons since January 7, said Debbie Cabana, an airline spokesman.
Bell said travelers were refused due to inadequate testing – testing for antigens or antibodies, rather than the common PCR test in Canada – no tests, or one done more than 72 hours before departure.
“Our teams have done everything they can to help guests and troubleshoot destinations on our network,” said Bell. “Our WestJet Vacations team is working on destinations with our partner hotels to facilitate and organize PCR testing whenever available to better serve our guests.”
At the time the test mandate was announced, Canada’s leading airlines unsuccessfully asked the government for an 11-day extension to implement the new rules, warning that they would create confusion for passengers.
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