YYC To Pilot COVID Testing Program That Shortens Quarantine Period; WS Applauds Initiative

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Alberta Minister of Health, Tyler Shandro

Ed Sims: “WestJet jobs are more secure because of today’s announcement.”

Alberta will conduct a pilot program that shortens the current 14-day quarantine requirement for international travellers who receive a negative COVID-19 test, the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta announced a joint media statement today.

Beginning on 02NOV, COVID-19 testing will be offered at YYC and the Coutts land border crossing between Alberta and the United States. For travellers who take part in the pilot program, quarantine will only be required until a negative test result is received, reducing the quarantine from 14 days to as few as two.

Once the test comes back negative, travellers will be allowed to leave their place of quarantine so long as they commit to getting a second test on day six or seven after arrival, at a community pharmacy participating in the pilot program.

Eligible candidates include returning Canadian citizens, permanent residents or foreign nationals currently permitted entry into Canada and who have no symptoms.

All returning international travellers who do not voluntarily participate in the pilot must continue to adhere to the 14-day quarantine.

It’s a move the travel sector has long been advocating for. 

In a news release, WestJet says it applauds Alberta's quarantine trial.

"This announcement is welcomed by WestJet and I applaud and thank Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Jason Kenney for taking this important step in providing peace of mind to anxious travellers," said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. 

"We have been asking for a science-based approach based on multiple layers of testing to help safely ease the quarantine requirements. With our home and largest hub in Calgary, guests from the province will be the first to experience this important trial as an alternative to a 14-day quarantine."

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.


Martin Reber (Schär-Reisen Bern AG, Switzerland) - October 23, 2020 @ 08:40
What a great surprise and good news for tourism to Canada! Finally something is being done to relaunch travel! Calgary (and Canada once more) is a good example for the rest of the world! Martin Reber (www.aktionmayday.ch)

Kyla G - October 22, 2020 @ 17:05
This is great news and looking forward to this expanding to other provinces soon. The travel industry needs this to happen and so does many Canadians looking to vacation during the winter season.

Leonard Sanicharan - October 22, 2020 @ 15:13
Very good measure to help for the Travel Industry rebound.

Corinne Wilson-Daly - October 22, 2020 @ 14:45
Did you hear that?? A huge "Hurray" rising up across the country from the whole travel industry!!

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