Experts at odds over value of COVID-19 tests for travellers at Pearson Airport in Mississauga
Published July 20, 2022 at 10:28 am
Infectious disease experts are at odds over how valuable it is to randomly test travellers arriving in Canada via Pearson Airport in Mississauga for COVID-19 after the federal government relaunched its mandatory testing program on Tuesday.
The government put a pause on random testing at Canadian airports in June as long customs delays caused chaos at the travel hubs, but relaunched the program this week at Pearson and airports in Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal.
Randomly selected air travellers at those airports must now report to off-site locations to be tested for COVID-19 or pick up a self-swab kit.
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam has called the tests an “early warning system” for new variants of COVID-19 as they enter Canada.
The government has issued several contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars to companies across the country to administer the program.
But not all health experts believe random testing of travellers is the best way to proceed.
Infectious disease physician Dr. Zain Chagla says there are more efficient ways to watch for variants that don’t inconvenience travellers and don’t contribute to airport delays, such as testing the wastewater at the airport.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising