Tourism Leaders Call Return Of Mandatory Random Testing “A Step Back”


A coalition of leaders in the Canadian tourism and travel sector is speaking out against the federal government’s decision to reinstate mandatory random testing for arriving air passengers.

“The Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable is disappointed with the federal government’s decision to re-introduce mandatory random COVID-19 arrival testing for fully vaccinated travellers, and mandatory 10-day isolation for any person who tests positive,” the group said in a statement.


“As our industry works with government, agencies and partners to combat wait times and delays, this announcement marks a step backward that unfairly targets Canada’s tourism sector and negatively impacts Canadian and international travellers.”

The Roundtable group goes on to state that “reimposition of these measures is an unnecessary and unhelpful step backward” that singles out air travel as the only consumer activity in the country with stringent health measures.

“Medical experts have been clear; mandatory testing should be replaced by more effective ways to assess community spread, such as community wastewater testing for tracking future variants,” the Roundtable stated.

After being paused in June as part of efforts to reduce airports delays, the program will look a little different when it resumes on July 19. all testing for air travellers, both those who qualify as fully vaccinated and partially or unvaccinated people, will be completed either via an in-person appointment at select testing provider locations and pharmacies, or a virtual appointment for a self-swab test.

“Keeping Canadians safe has been our number one priority since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Canada set up entry restrictions, testing, and quarantine requirements to manage risks at the border,” the government said in a statement.

“Testing was and remains an important part of our surveillance program to track the importation of COVID-19 virus into Canada and identify new variants of concern.”

The Canadian Tourism Roundtable includes representatives from airports, airlines, hotels, and chambers of commerce across the country.


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