Incoming travellers at Mississauga’s Pearson Airport still not being tested in big enough numbers
Published December 10, 2021 at 12:22 pm
The federal government continues to ramp up COVID-19 testing for international travellers arriving at Pearson Airport in Mississauga, and other Canadian airports, but it’s still nowhere near the 100 per cent testing it promised more than one week ago.
At its briefing from Ottawa this morning, the federal government said it has increased testing capacity at Pearson to 8,317 tests per day as of yesterday, compared to 5,232 daily tests on Nov. 30.
At all Canadian airports combined, international travellers arriving from everywhere except the U.S., which is exempted from the air travel restriction, are being randomly tested at a rate of 17,000 per day, still well below the goal of testing each and every traveller.
“Our testing capacity is increasing significantly…but it’s still incomplete,” Canadian Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said today.
LIVE: Federal government releases updated COVID-19 modelling https://t.co/i1xn1dSwxD
— Health Canada and PHAC (@GovCanHealth) December 10, 2021
Duclos said earlier that Ottawa is working with Pearson Airport officials to increase testing capacity at the airport with an eye towards “ramping up” to eventually testing 100 per cent of travellers arriving from places other than the United States.
One of the issues they’re faced with, he said, is lab capacity that needs to be significantly increased.
Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, also MP for Mississauga Centre, told insauga.com this week he’s hopeful 100 per cent testing capacity will be reached at Pearson “in the coming days.”
“We are building on what we already have…we’ve had random testing at the airport, on average about 20 per cent (of arrivals being tested)…and we’re now escalating that until we reach 100 per cent…it’s been going up every day, and we’re hoping to get to 100 (per cent) in the coming days,” Alghabra said earlier this week.
For more than a week now, travellers arriving at Pearson from anywhere in the world except the U.S. have been subjected to random testing, regardless of vaccination status.
Many Pearson travellers have been complaining that the new, more stringent travel rules announced last week by Ottawa in response to the new Omicron variant lack clarity with respect to when they’d take effect, who gets tested and where they must isolate while awaiting test results.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising