Canadian Govt Launches Pilot Programme To Test Intl Travellers For COVID-19 Upon Entry

The Canadian government along with Alberta is set to launch a pilot programme that aims to cut down quarantine time for the international travellers by testing them for COVID-19 at the point of entry, Department of Intergovernmental Affairs said in a statement.

“A joint pilot programme from the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada – the first of its kind in the country – will safely test an alternative to the current 14-day quarantine requirement for international travellers while continuing to protect Canadians from COVID-19,” the statement said on Thursday.

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The Joint programme will commence on November 2 and all the international travellers entering Canada at the Coutts land border crossing between Sweet Grass, Coutts and Montana, Alberta and the Calgary International Airport will receive a COVID-19 test upon entry. The traveller will be allowed to leave quarantine if the results come back negative. The new regime will be conditional upon a second negative test six or seven days after arrival, the statement read.

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Canada extends COVID travel restrictions

Last month on September 30, Canada’s Public Safety Minister Bill Blair had extended the existing restriction on non-U.S. international travel until October 31, 2020. As per reports, the new order announced by Blair on his Twitter handle does not apply to some US nationals, temporary foreign workers, other select individuals which including diplomats and flight crews. 

During this period the Canada Public Health Services had also released a statement in its website and stated that “to limit the spread of COVID-19, travellers entering Canada must follow the rules set out by the emergency orders under the Quarantine Act. No one should travel when sick”. Canadians, persons with status under the Indian Act and permanent residents who have COVID-19 symptoms are allowed to return to Canada, the statement added. Prime Minister in mid-March had announced that the government is halting the entry of most foreign citizens into Canada amid the spread of Coronavirus.

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COVID-19 cases in Canada

On Thursday, Canada has reported its highest number of COVID-19 cases in a single day. According to reports Canada recorded 2,786 new cases on Thursday that broke the previous record of 2,698 cases, which was set on Oct. 17. This is also the first time the country surpassed the May 3 tally of 2,760 cases. 

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(With ANI inputs)

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