There are some significant changes coming to air travel across the country, as the federal government continues its phased approach to reopening our borders to non-essential travel.
Temperature checks are being completely curtailed over the coming weeks.
As of now, with the pre-departure testing requirement in place, airlines aren’t required to temperature-screen international inbound passengers. Starting August 9th, temperature checks will also be dropped for passengers on outbound international flights, as well as those on domestic flights.
When it comes to testing people who are coming from beyond our borders, that process is becoming a bit easier too.
Pre-arrival tests will be the standard rule for everyone, regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated.
However, people who are 14-days past their final dose will not be required to submit to an arrival test. Instead, surveillance programs will be set up at airports and fully vaccinated passengers will be randomly selected to submit their test.
Federal ministers say this decision was based on the data they’ve seen in recent weeks. Of the more than 63,000 people who have arrived since Ottawa changed the rules for returning vaccinated Canadians on July 5, fewer than 10 positive cases have been detected.
For months, these flights could only arrive and depart from four key hubs: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. Starting August 9th, international flights will be cleared for takeoff from Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Quebec City and Halifax.
The goal is to work with airport authorities and carriers to add more destinations in the coming months, to expand services across Canada and revive more routes and get more people in the air again.
A few key things to remember: face masks will continue to be required at all Canadian airports, as well as all flights in and departing from Canada for the foreseeable future.
And no matter where people are travelling to, they need to give themselves plenty of time and anticipate delays. It’s going to take patience as airports and airlines revive service.