Mississauga’s Pearson Airport can’t confirm when it will start testing all international travellers

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Published December 4, 2021 at 8:15 pm

Pearson Airport crowd in Mississauga

It’s recently been announced that all international travellers arriving at Mississauga’s Pearson Airport will need to get tested for COVID-19, although the airport can’t say when this new measure will go into effect.

The federal government announced earlier this week that all travellers arriving at Pearson and other Canadian airports — except for those arriving from the U.S. — must take a COVID-19 test before leaving the airport.

That would apply to fully vaccinated travellers as well, and those getting tested will need to isolate while awaiting results. 

When asked if testing for all incoming international travellers had begun yet, Pearson responded that the official start date has yet to be announced by the federal government.

“All international arriving travellers should be prepared for a COVID-19 test upon arrival as part of the government’s random mandatory testing program,” said Pearson, noting that at this point, testing is still only random.

While it was previously indicated the new travel rules would take effect immediately, that turned out not to be the case.  

At its COVID-19 briefing from Ottawa earlier this week, the federal government said it’s 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, Canadian Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said, is lab capacity that needs to be significantly increased.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said earlier this week that the Omicron variant situation continues to quickly evolve, but she’s confident the Mississauga airport is equipped to handle things. 

“I know we are staffed up and ready to go so that testing will be and can be done at the airport,” she said, noting the situation is rapidly changing and that Ottawa and others are working hard to keep up.  

“I know they’re on deck and ready to react at Pearson Airport.”

With files from Declan Finucane

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