Pearson tells travellers to expect delays as border reopens

Sep 7 2021, 11:39 am

Canada’s borders reopened to international travellers Tuesday for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic. After waiting more than a year to enter the country, travellers will face one last hold up — the lineup to get through customs.

Toronto’s Pearson International Airport is warning people to expect wait times of up to three hours to make it through the international arrivals process.

“We do expect to see an increase in international travellers as a result of this change, and we’ll continue working with our agency partners and airlines to best manage the flow of passengers,” the airport told Daily Hive in a statement.

It added delays are more likely to occur during peak international arrival periods that begin midday and run until late evening. Travellers now need to undergo additional screening measures, and Pearson said these contribute to passengers being held on planes and in terminal waiting areas.

Arrivals now need to be cleared by Canada Border Services Agency officers, undergo public health screening, and possibly do a COVID-19 test before picking up their bags.

The airport said staff might proactively remove bags from the carousels for customers who are delayed in customs.

The airport also advised people picking up friends and family landing at Pearson to arrive at least one hour after the plane’s scheduled landing time. Drivers are also encouraged to wait in the cell phone waiting area instead of crowding the driveway near the terminal.

The airport has created a new webpage reminding travellers that going to the airport is a different experience than before the pandemic.

Every traveller needs to take a COVID-19 test before departing the country they started in, and those who are vaccinated should bring proof of immunization to avoid a two-week quarantine.

Travellers are encouraged to use the ArriveCan app to submit their documents digitally.

 

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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