Toronto Pearson Airport scraps lineups based on vaccination status
Just two days after Toronto Pearson International Airport announced it would be separating passengers based on COVID-19 vaccination status, it says it is no longer doing so.
According to a Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) spokesperson, the practice was ceased as of July 26, 2021.
“As Government of Canada travel restrictions ease in a health-focused and measured way, Toronto Pearson is committed to testing measures that will prioritize passenger and employee health while also resulting inefficiencies in the airport journey,” stated the GTAA spokesperson.
“Toronto Pearson, in collaboration with government and other partners, has determined that separation of vaccinated and non/partially-vaccinated travellers in customs lines results in minimal operational efficiencies.”
As of Monday, entry requirements based on vaccination status were enforced once a passenger reached a CBSA officer.
When it was announced, passengers entering Canada from the US or another international destination would be split into vaccinated and non/partially vaccinated queues prior to reaching Canada Customs.
“This is a measure to help streamline the border clearance process as there are different entry requirements for vaccinated and non/partially-vaccinated travellers,” the GTAA said at the time.
Earlier last week, Vancouver International Airport also introduced vaccinated and unvaccinated lines, but their practice was also reversed on Monday.
“The health and safety of our passengers, employees, and airport community is our top priority,” said a YVR spokesperson.
“Effectively immediately, passengers entering Canada from the US or another international destination will no longer be separated based on vaccination status prior to reaching Customs.”
The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) told Daily Hive Urbanized that decisions of this nature are up to individual airport authorities in consultation with groups like the CBSA or Transport Canada.
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Fully vaccinated Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and those registered under the Indian Act are exempt from the country’s 14-day quarantine.
Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated Canadians returning home are still subject to a two-week quarantine, as well as a three-night stay at a government-approved hotel.
As of August 9, fully vaccinated American citizens and US permanent residents who live in the States will be able to enter Canada for discretionary travel without having to quarantine.
Starting next month, immunized travellers will no longer be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Canada.
With files from Zoe Demarco