"Fast" And "Smooth": Positive Pax Feedback As COVID Rapid Testing Pilot Launches At YYC

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

The first passengers to take part in the new COVID-19 screening program at YYC have landed. 

Yesterday, WestJet announced flight WS1511 from LAX to YYC was the first of its international flights eligible to participate in the new rapid testing pilot program. 

The new pilot project, conducted in partnership with the Governments of Canada and Alberta, shortens the current 14-day quarantine requirement for international travellers who receive a negative COVID-19 test. Those who participate in the program receive a COVID-19 test upon arrival at YYC and self-isolate for 24 to 48 hours while they await their results. Once confirmed negative, the traveller may leave self-isolation on the condition that they remain in Alberta for 14 days, get another COVID-19 test within the next six to seven days and complete daily symptom checks.

The hope is that Canada can implement nation-wide, science-based measures for international travellers to replace the current, mandatory 14-day quarantine. 

"The start of this unique trial is a significant first step in giving peace of mind to those who need to travel and were apprehensive due to the rigorous quarantine requirements and testing restrictions," said Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. 

"This pilot is the health and science-based approach that WestJet and our industry has been seeking. We encourage our guests to adhere to all of the health guidelines in place as part of this program." 

CBC News spoke with Rose Addo, a passenger on flight WS1511, who was the first person in the country to go through the process. She told CBC it was fast and the reduced quarantine is welcome. 

Jordan Halas was behind her in the line and said the process was smooth, even though there were some kinks to work out, CBC reports. 

For full pilot project details, visit the Government of Alberta website.

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.

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