YUL Trials Pre-Departure Rapid COVID-19 Tests For France-Bound Pax

Lynn Elmhirst, Open Jaw Trends Editor

And Montreal makes four.

YUL is the latest airport in Canada to trial COVID-19 testing. Starting 15DEC, passengers travelling to France from YUL will be able to get a rapid test for COVID-19 at the airport. The eight-week pilot project is a partnership between ADM Aéroports de Montréal, Air Canada and Biron Health Group Inc. to test a new rapid screening process on departures. 

Three other COVID-testing pilots are underway in Canada.

At YVR, volunteer pax are tested before boarding their domestic flights.

Two other tests, at  YYZ and YYC, test volunteer pax on arrival.

In this case at YUL, it's a pre-departure test for international pax flying to France - with an eye to serving pax en route to international destinations that require a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival. And there's a cost to the passenger: $149.

The service at YUL will initially be offered by reservation only to Air Canada, Air France, KLM and Air Transat travellers whose final destination is metropolitan France, although additional destinations could be added at a later time. The rapid antigen tests use a nasal swab and yield results within 15 minutes. Tests will be carried out by Biron Health Group professionals in a designated area in the departures terminal. 

"Rapid screening is an effective and responsible alternative that facilitates the safe relaxation of global travel restrictions and quarantine measures, while protecting the health and safety of the travelling public," said Dr. Jim Chung, Chief Medical Officer of Air Canada, in a statement. 

Annick Guérard, Chief Operating Officer of Transat, said, "Since Montreal is our largest hub, it was only natural for us to participate in this pilot project and we are delighted to be able to offer this simple alternative to our customers who are travelling to France in greater numbers as the holiday season approaches. We warmly applaud this initiative, which supports our joint efforts to boost tourism by enabling us to develop effective and safe solutions that we hope will help ease the travel restrictions currently in place."

As the test only applies to departing pax, all passengers participating in the pilot project will still need to continue to observe the mandatory quarantine period upon a return to Canada, although ADM says it is in discussions to eventually offer this same type of testing to arriving passengers. In that case, as in other COVID arrivals tests underway in Canada, the goal would be to be able to reduce quarantine requirements on pax arriving in Canada.

For more details on the terms and conditions of the project: https://yulsatisfaction.admtl.com/hc/en-ca/

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