Starting in February, Canadians who travelled internationally, and are returning to the Edmonton International Airport, will have access to on-site COVID-19 testing.
“We’re committed to the safety of Albertans. This program is critical for safe, essential travel,” said Steve Maybee, vice-president of operations and infrastructure for Edmonton International Airport, said in a statement.
“Starting this pilot program for people that need to travel will make it easier to possibly expand it when travel is more open in the future,” Maybee added.
The test is optional, but anyone who is tested could reduce their quarantine time to 48 hours. If the test comes back negative, they are free to leave their isolation while still following Alberta Health regulations and restrictions. However, if the test is positive, the standard 14-day isolation is necessary.
“The test will be conducted by Alberta Health Services staff at EIA. Travellers will be contacted by AHS with the test results within roughly 48 hours,” said Maybee.
Even with a negative test result, a second test will be required a week after arriving. During this time, people should be closely monitoring their symptoms every day.
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This pilot project, a joint effort between the provincial and federal governments, has already been launched at the Calgary International Airport, as well as the Coutts border crossing. The main focus is to reduce the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for returning travellers.
“This is something that passengers have been asking us for, almost on a daily basis. We want to thank the provincial government for recognizing how important this program is for Edmonton and agreeing to expand it to our airport,” said Maybee.