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Dozens of airline passengers in Canada hit with fines, warning letters for refusing to wear a mask

More incidents involved Alberta than any other province: Transport Canada data

Elizabeth Thompson · CBC News · Posted: Dec 22, 2020 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 6 hours ago

Dozens of passengers on Canadian airlines have been slapped with fines or warning letters by Transport Canada in recent months for refusing to wear a mask on board a flight, with more incidents involving Alberta airports than any other province.

A review of Transport Canada data by CBC News reveals that WestJet passengers have been the hardest hit — with 50 of the 72 incidents, or nearly 70 per cent, involving passengers on the Calgary-based airline.

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Dozens of airline passengers in Canada hit with fines, warning letters for refusing to wear a mask | CBC News

There are 4 pages of infractions showing the airline etc.  Too Long to post here 

 

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Canada extends U.K. flight ban 2 more weeks amid COVID-19 mutations
Katie Dangerfield  42 mins ago
Global News logo

Canada extends U.K. flight ban 2 more weeks amid COVID-19 mutations

Canada will extend its ban on flights from the United Kingdom another two weeks in order to prevent the spread of a new coronavirus strain, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday.

a group of people riding on the back of a truck: Passengers arrive at Heathrow Airport in London, Britain, 21 August 2020. British Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps has rejected the idea of quarantining for arrivals from regions of countries. The UK government has added Croatia and Austria to its fourteen day quarantine on travellers arriving from those countries, while Portugal has been omitted from the list.© EPA/ANDY RAIN Passengers arrive at Heathrow Airport in London, Britain, 21 August 2020. British Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps has rejected the idea of quarantining for arrivals from regions of countries. The UK government has added Croatia and Austria to its fourteen day quarantine on travellers arriving from those countries, while Portugal has been omitted from the list.
The measure, which was first announced Sunday, was initially set to expire in 72 hours.

Read more: Canadians stuck in U.K. face uncertainty after flights halted over coronavirus variant

Speaking at a media conference Wednesday, Trudeau said the ban is now extended until Jan. 6.

"In addition to the significant measures we already have in place, we acted quickly on additional travel restrictions in response to the situation in the United Kingdom," Trudeau said."Our government temporarily suspended all commercial and passenger flights from the U.K. to Canada. Today I can announce that we will extend this temporary suspension of form passenger flights .. for another two weeks so we can prevent this new variant of COVID-19 of spreading to Canada," he said.

Canada is one of several countries to ban travel from the U.K. due to the new strain of the virus, which British officials said appears to be 70 per cent more transmissible.

Canada extends U.K. flight ban 2 more weeks amid COVID-19 mutations (msn.com)

 

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Canada is one of several countries to ban travel from the U.K. due to the new strain of the virus, which British officials said appears to be 70 per cent more transmissible.
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Ontario Premier Doug Ford earlier this week said the border was like a "sieve," while Public Safety Minister Bill Blair argued the country had some of the strongest restrictions in the world.

"We have not been slow and not been unresponsive to the concerns that Canadians have," Blair said.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/uk-flight-ban-extended-1.5853272

Yup....Trudeau and all have our backs ..... acting decisively to keep Canadians safe....banning travel from the UK (why didn’t they do this for China??)  great...but recently heard that a flight from FRA landed in YZ with a large (25+) number of South Africans on it...they couldn’t connect through LHR so went via FRA instead.....guess Bill Blair doesn’t get out much!  And I don’t have much faith they will be staying home for a 2 week quarantine.

 

 

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The cases in London and north west England are contacts of people who travelled to South Africa, where the variant was discovered. 

Travel restrictions with South Africa have been imposed.

Anyone who has travelled there in the past fortnight, and anyone they have been in contact with, are being told to quarantine immediately.

The variant has been causing mounting concern in South Africa, where health minister Zweli Mkhize warned that "young, previously healthy people are now becoming very sick".

He said the country "cannot go through what we went through in the early days of the Aids pandemic".

 

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-55428953

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Canada expands added screening to travellers from South Africa amid COVID-19 variant worries

 

Published Thursday, December 24, 2020 5:19PM EST
Montreal Trudeau Airport

A passenger walks the halls at Montreal Trudeau Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Montreal, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

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OTTAWA -- Canada on Thursday expanded enhanced screening and monitoring measures to travellers arriving from South Africa, citing the rise of a more infectious variant of COVID-19 in that country, similar to one that has emerged in the United Kingdom.

This follows a move on Wednesday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to extend to Jan. 6 a ban on passenger flights arriving from Britain, citing the variant. It also announced added screening for travelers from Britain.

No cases of the variant have been found in Canada so far, Health Canada said in a release, noting it had tested over 25,000 samples. "All travelers who have been in the United Kingdom or South Africa within the period of 14 days before the day on which they seek entry into Canada will be subject to secondary screening and enhanced measures," Health Canada said.

Canada also updated travel advisories for both the United Kingdom and South Africa to advise extra caution. Health officials continue to advise against all non-essential international travel.

Canada has so far reported 528,354 cases of COVID-19, including 14,597 deaths.

The government separately announced on Thursday that the first doses of the Moderna Inc COVID-19 vaccine had arrived in Canada. It approved the vaccine on Wednesday and said it expects 168,000 doses by end of year.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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TORONTO -- Philipine President Rodrigo Duterte imposed a new travel ban on Tuesday, barring travellers from Canada and 19 other countries from entering the country until at least mid-January in an effort to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus variant.

The Philippine government previously issued a prohibition of entry on all travellers and a temporary 14-day suspension of all flights coming from the U.K. on Dec. 23. That travel ban has been extended until Jan. 15 and now includes 19 other countries, including Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany and France – all countries who have reported cases of the new variant.

Passengers who were already on their way to the Philippines when the travel ban was issued will not be barred from entering the country, but they will be required to undergo an “an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period notwithstanding a negative [COVID-19 test] result,” according to a government memorandum.

 

Filipino citizens who wish to travel to countries with the reported new variants will be required to follow existing exit protocols put in place by the Philippine government, as well as entry protocols of the respective countries they wish to travel to.

The government says it may impose additional restrictions on travellers coming from other countries that report the presence of the new variant as recommended by the Department of Health.

With files from Reuters.

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Order No. 2020-A-S-102

December 29, 2020
 

SUSPENSION of Licence No. 961035 – Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (Licensee).

 
Case number: 
20-11559
 

The Licensee is licensed to operate a scheduled international service in accordance with the Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on Air Transport.

The Licensee's certificate of insurance on the Canadian Transportation Agency's record will expire on December 29, 2020.

The Licensee will cease to meet the requirement to have the prescribed liability insurance coverage under subparagraph 69(1)(a)(iii) of the Canada Transportation Act, SC 1996, c 10 (CTA), unless the prescribed liability insurance coverage is renewed.

Therefore, pursuant to subsection 72(1) of the CTA, the licence will be suspended at 00:01, Eastern Standard time (EST), on December 30, 2020, unless proof of valid renewal of the prescribed liability insurance coverage is received by December 29, 2020, 23:59, Eastern Standard time (EST).

The licence, if suspended, will be reinstated when the Manager, Licensing and Charters Division is satisfied that the requirements of subparagraphs 69(1)(a)(ii) and (iii) of the CTA are met and provided that the other requirements of paragraph 69(1)(a) of the CTA continue to be met.

 

Member(s)

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Air travellers entering Canada must have a negative COVID-19 test before arrival, Ottawa says

CBSA has also boosted its presence in airports to reinforce public health messaging

Wed Dec 30, 2020 - CBC News

Air passengers entering Canada will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within three days of arriving in the country, the federal government announced today.

Travellers must receive a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test before they'll be permitted to board a plane — a requirement Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said will be in place "quickly," though he did not provide an exact date.

The measure does not replace the federal government's mandatory 14-day quarantine period, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair warned.

"This is not an alternative to quarantine. It's an additional layer," Blair said during a public health briefing.

The Canada Border Services Agency also will be increasing its presence at airports across Canada, the minister said.

"Additional border officers will be present at various positions to reinforce compliance messaging," Blair said, adding that teams already have been sent to customs and baggage areas and inspection lines to speak to travellers about their obligations — and the consequences of failing to follow the rules.

The federal government has advised against non-essential travel outside Canada since the start of the pandemic, though officials noted Wednesday that about two per cent of COVID-19 cases have been brought into the country from overseas.

The new measures come as Ontario Health Minister Rod Phillips is under fire over news that he had travelled to the Caribbean island of St. Barts for a personal vacation earlier this month. Phillips is on his way back to Canada after Ontario Premier Doug Ford demanded his return.

Quebec Liberal MNA Pierre Arcand has also received criticism for visiting Barbados during the holidays, a trip Arcand now says he regrets.

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12 minutes ago, Airband said:

Air travellers entering Canada must have a negative COVID-19 test before arrival, Ottawa says

CBSA has also boosted its presence in airports to reinforce public health messaging

Wed Dec 30, 2020 - CBC News

Air passengers entering Canada will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within three days of arriving in the country, the federal government announced today.

Travellers must receive a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test before they'll be permitted to board a plane — a requirement Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said will be in place "quickly," though he did not provide an exact date.

The measure does not replace the federal government's mandatory 14-day quarantine period, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair warned.

"This is not an alternative to quarantine. It's an additional layer," Blair said during a public health briefing.

The Canada Border Services Agency also will be increasing its presence at airports across Canada, the minister said.

"Additional border officers will be present at various positions to reinforce compliance messaging," Blair said, adding that teams already have been sent to customs and baggage areas and inspection lines to speak to travellers about their obligations — and the consequences of failing to follow the rules.

The federal government has advised against non-essential travel outside Canada since the start of the pandemic, though officials noted Wednesday that about two per cent of COVID-19 cases have been brought into the country from overseas.

The new measures come as Ontario Health Minister Rod Phillips is under fire over news that he had travelled to the Caribbean island of St. Barts for a personal vacation earlier this month. Phillips is on his way back to Canada after Ontario Premier Doug Ford demanded his return.

Quebec Liberal MNA Pierre Arcand has also received criticism for visiting Barbados during the holidays, a trip Arcand now says he regrets.

Why not apply to interprovince flights within Canada?   It seems the highest area of potential virus spread are   internal (based on the number of passengers) 

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39 minutes ago, Malcolm said:

Why not apply to interprovince flights within Canada?   It seems the highest area of potential virus spread is internal (based on the number of passengers) and the ever increasing number of cases reported involving domestic flights.  

 

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Absolutely right, Malcolm. This is all a charade....not the virus but governmental efforts to be seen as doing something.

Forum after forum reveal multiple posts blaming the spread of the virus on....anything; everything....without any evidence of cause and effect.

Easy bait is air travel. We all KNOW that airline passengers are the conduit by which the virus is spread. Politicians cannot help themselves. They are compelled to respond to these unsupported but fervently held beliefs.

Of course, that's why FA's are falling like flies.

What??!! They aren't? Shush!

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13 hours ago, UpperDeck said:

Absolutely right, Malcolm. This is all a charade....not the virus but governmental efforts to be seen as doing something.

Forum after forum reveal multiple posts blaming the spread of the virus on....anything; everything....without any evidence of cause and effect.

Easy bait is air travel. We all KNOW that airline passengers are the conduit by which the virus is spread. Politicians cannot help themselves. They are compelled to respond to these unsupported but fervently held beliefs.

Of course, that's why FA's are falling like flies.

What??!! They aren't? Shush!

UpperDeck, you are missing my point.

Limited time of exposure in the aircraft is not the problem. Not concerned with exposure from the time in the aircraft but rather travelers who have the virus and then spread it in their arrival city.   One way to deal with this is to deny travel to anyone who has the virus.  

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16 hours ago, UpperDeck said:

Absolutely right, Malcolm. This is all a charade....not the virus but governmental efforts to be seen as doing something.

Forum after forum reveal multiple posts blaming the spread of the virus on....anything; everything....without any evidence of cause and effect.

Easy bait is air travel. We all KNOW that airline passengers are the conduit by which the virus is spread. Politicians cannot help themselves. They are compelled to respond to these unsupported but fervently held beliefs.

Of course, that's why FA's are falling like flies.

What??!! They aren't? Shush!

It's not about air travel per se - it's about travel period. It's about people going to Mexico or other hot spots where there is lots of partying and little masking. People are going to, say, Cancun, to escape the restrictions and weather and party on like its pre-Covid. They are going to dance indoors, hook up, and generally behave like idiots. A few days ago, La Presse had a reporter go to Mexico on an Air Canada flight - it was full - from Montreal. I doubt many people got sick on the flight, or the return flight, but the reporter followed Quebecers around at that Mexican resort, interviewed quite a few of them, and there is little doubt that when one is in a beach resort, yukking it up with strangers, without masks or distancing, the virus is going to have a field day. The purpose of the PCR test, which will cost up to C$199 and add inconvenience, as well as the threat of being grounded in Mexico or elsewhere for several additional days (at one's own expense) until they get a negative test (again at their own expense), is to DISCOURAGE NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL. It's not about the flight. There's a reason Air Canada shares briefly tanked at the opening of the market today. It will lose more business because of this test, not because of anything to do with the safety of flights. That's why the government isn't expanding the Calgary trial yet - just doing rapid tests with a shortened quarantine is meant to encourage non-essential travel, and in a few months time, as more and more people are being vaccinated, that will become a desirable objective. Right now, with cases/hospitalizations/deaths soaring, it is not.

Edited by dagger
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And now we are going to bend / break the rules for NHL Players.  National Interest????? 🤬

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In a separate statement Thursday, the federal government said it has issued an exemption to the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for NHL players and team staff returning to Canada for training camps under “national interest grounds.”

Alberta approves NHL games for Edmonton, Calgary, Manitoba still in discussions - 660 NEWS (660citynews.com)

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4 hours ago, Malcolm said:

And now we are going to bend / break the rules for NHL Players.  National Interest????? 🤬

Alberta approves NHL games for Edmonton, Calgary, Manitoba still in discussions - 660 NEWS (660citynews.com)

Well, you can bet those players will be rapid tested ad nauseam...unlike the International passengers (guests?) who are supposed to be in a self policed quarantine.

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The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, is requiring that, effective January 7, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. EST, all air passengers five years of age or older will be required to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling from another country to Canada. This implementation date provides all airlines, both foreign and domestic, adequate time to comply with the new requirements.

Documentation of a negative laboratory test result must be presented to the airline prior to boarding a flight to Canada. The test must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (or PCR) test and must be taken within 72 hours prior to the traveller’s scheduled departure to Canada.

Anyone who receives a negative test result and is authorized to enter Canada must still complete the full, mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The Government of Canada will be further increasing surveillance efforts to ensure travellers entering Canada complete the applicable mandatory 14-day quarantine period under the Quarantine Act.

As has been the case for months, all travellers will have their quarantine plans reviewed by a government official and, if not suitable, will be required to quarantine in a federal quarantine facility. Travellers to Canada must use the ArriveCAN App or website and provide accurate contact information and their mandatory 14-day quarantine plan on or before entry.

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1 minute ago, FireFox said:

Well, you can bet those players will be tested ad nauseam...unlike the International passengers (guests?) who are supposed to be in a self policed quarantine.

How the hell do you say allowing the NHL players etc to be exempt from the rules is in"National Interests"????  

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9 hours ago, dagger said:

It's not about air travel per se - it's about travel period. It's about people going to Mexico or other hot spots where there is lots of partying and little masking. People are going to, say, Cancun, to escape the restrictions and weather and party on like its pre-Covid. They are going to dance indoors, hook up, and generally behave like idiots. A few days ago, La Presse had a reporter go to Mexico on an Air Canada flight - it was full - from Montreal. I doubt many people got sick on the flight, or the return flight, but the reporter followed Quebecers around at that Mexican resort, interviewed quite a few of them, and there is little doubt that when one is in a beach resort, yukking it up with strangers, without masks or distancing, the virus is going to have a field day. The purpose of the PCR test, which will cost up to C$199 and add inconvenience, as well as the threat of being grounded in Mexico or elsewhere for several additional days (at one's own expense) until they get a negative test (again at their own expense), is to DISCOURAGE NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL. It's not about the flight. There's a reason Air Canada shares briefly tanked at the opening of the market today. It will lose more business because of this test, not because of anything to do with the safety of flights. That's why the government isn't expanding the Calgary trial yet - just doing rapid tests with a shortened quarantine is meant to encourage non-essential travel, and in a few months time, as more and more people are being vaccinated, that will become a desirable objective. Right now, with cases/hospitalizations/deaths soaring, it is not.

Dagger....and I respectfully suggest...you're wrong. The issue is not with travel per se. It is with compliance with quarantine rules upon re-entry to Canada. Cut to the chase....where is the evidence that Air Canada pax who are Cdn citizens are importing the virus? It is my understanding that there is no cogent evidence. However....news reports of 1300 flights carrying Covix + pax is VERY persuasive politically; something must be done!!

My home is in a small County that had very few Covid cases. A large company initiated a large construction project. A number of trades came in on travel cards. What a surprise!! Within a matter of weeks, we had over 40 cases. So....7 months....12 cases. Less than one month....40. Blame that on people returning home from Cancun?

Repeatedly, we heard about the latest variant and countries began closing their borders....including Canada. The concern of course was with the import of a more contagious version.

And what did we learn within a matter of days? Cases in Canada and in the US with this variant and NO HISTORY OF TRAVEL!! ( or travel-related contacts).

So....here we are. I'm in Florida....as isolated as one can be. I MUST return home every 30 days for health coverage and when I do so....I quarantine for 14 days.

There are MORE cases in Ontario right now per capita than where I hang my hat in Florida. But...I have to go home and in the process, unnecessarily expose myself.

And now "my" government in its infinite wisdom demands that I break my "isolation" here and attend a health care facility to get a meaningless test at my expense ( and enhanced risk)...to come home....and quarantine.

I suggest that any barrier to my ability to return to MY home is a breach of my constitutional right as a citizen.

And I'll contribute to that lawsuit.

Canada wants to inhibit the ability of non-residents to enter Canada....have at it BUT don't try to stop a Canadian resident from coming home!!

 

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6. (1) Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada.

I agree. 

It's your charter right to enter Canada as a Canadian. Inhibiting air travel isn't any different than banning entry to Canadians abroad with covid and it's a violation of your rights. They can't stop you at a land border, but they are testing that they can at a foreign airport terminal.

Why not testing on arrival? Build it into the cost of tickets, just like AIFs.

 

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15 minutes ago, j.k. said:

6. (1) Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada.

I agree. 

It's your charter right to enter Canada as a Canadian. Inhibiting air travel isn't any different than banning entry to Canadians abroad with covid and it's a violation of your rights. They can't stop you at a land border, but they are testing that they can at a foreign airport terminal.

Why not testing on arrival? Build it into the cost of tickets, just like AIFs.

 

There are two reasons I wouldn't do that. Rapid tests still have a high false negative rate, so you'd be releasing people into the population prematurely who might have been infected but are not yet generating enough of the virus for a rapid test to catch. A day or two later, that might not be the case. The PCR test is a lot more sensitive but it's not an instant test, it requires lab processing. Secondly, the last thing you want is a crowded hall of hundreds of passengers waiting for test results, because even rapid tests take 15-60 minutes to process. Talk about a super spreader event.

As for travel, I'm sorry to disagree with Upper Deck's comment above, but what happened in the first wave of the pandemic when some provinces had more meaningful lockdowns doesn't apply to the current situation with the looming presence of a more readily transmissible variant. The fact is, most Canadians now are masking indoors at stores, doing restaurant pickup, etc. The most reckless behaviour by Canadians is probably by those running around maskless at resorts like Cancun or in Florida. Last night's New Year's celebration in Tampa is a prime example - mostly maskless people, no social distancing, a virus super spreader event. And it happened on a day when Florida set a record for new cases - over 17,000. Many of the people who are doing vacation travel, particularly to hot spots, may well feel invulnerable or that the rules they are told to follow don't apply to them.

What we learned from tourism in the first wave, whether it was people who massed in Austrian ski resorts or tourists who flocked to Spain in the summer, is that these people provided a conduit for the virus to spread widely throughout Europe. That's all been tracked by testing. Also, this new variant from the UK is showing up in more young people - with symptoms - and portends a worse outcome for under-50s than the standard variant, which will also help spread it to over-50s. 

I have no idea why we would encourage people by lowering barriers to go to vacation hot spots where they behave in ways they wouldn't or couldn't here in Canada at a time when the number of cases here is threatening to explode and overwhelm the healthcare system in several provinces.

https://www.tampabay.com/news/health/2021/01/01/tampa-bay-had-crowded-new-years-eve-parties-on-same-day-florida-broke-coronavirus-record/

 

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31 minutes ago, j.k. said:

6. (1) Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada.

I agree. 

It's your charter right to enter Canada as a Canadian. Inhibiting air travel isn't any different than banning entry to Canadians abroad with covid and it's a violation of your rights. They can't stop you at a land border, but they are testing that they can at a foreign airport terminal.

Why not testing on arrival? Build it into the cost of tickets, just like AIFs.

 

Hmmm re at foreign airports, perhaps only to apply to foreign carriers and non Canadian Citizens. Then for Canadian Airlines, Canadian citizens would be tested on arrival but where do you house / confine them pending the results of their tests so as to prevent anyone with the virus from spreading it into the community prior to receiving the results of the tests. 

-No connections allowed until the test results are known.

-All passengers on Canadian AirCarriers would be held until the test results are known. 

ETC ETC....   Workable? I suspect not.

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Airlines say Canada’s COVID-19 test plan could cause confusion for passengers

From The Globe and Mail – link to source story

JON VICTOR, MONTREAL, THE CANADIAN PRESS | DECEMBER 31, 2020

ZLQR4GXRVJICHBCZE2KBQLNDWY.jpg People wearing protective equipment check in at the international departures at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Dec. 14, 2020.NATHAN DENETTE/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The National Airlines Council of Canada said there are still major issues that need to be addressed as Ottawa rolls out a COVID-19 testing requirement for air passengers arriving from abroad.

The group’s comments come as the federal government said Thursday that, as of Jan. 7, all air passengers aged 5 or older will be required to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling by from another country to Canada.

Prior to boarding a flight to Canada, passengers will have to present airlines with documentation of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to their scheduled departure, the government said.

Mike McNaney, the NACC’s president and CEO, said additional clarity is needed regarding the format in which passengers must present their testing results and passengers’ options if their jurisdiction does not offer the kind of test the government accepts.

“We fully support testing and the implementation of a testing strategy and regime,” Mr. McNaney said. “But the objective is to do it in a consistent and thorough fashion, and to tie it to quarantine measures.”

The National Airlines Council of Canada is an industry group that represents the country’s major carriers, including Air Canada, Air Transat and WestJet.

Mr. McNaney added that the lack of consultation with airlines on the new measures risks creating confusion for airlines, passengers and front-line government workers trying to enforce the rules.

Yves-François Blanchet, the leader of the Bloc Québécois, said the testing requirement should apply to all border crossings, not just to airports. He also said the government should reimburse anyone out of the country who finds themselves with extra costs as a result of the planned rules.

Along with requests for financial assistance, industry groups representing airlines and airports have called on the government to replace the mandatory 14-day quarantine for international travellers with a program that tests airline passengers on arrival in Canada.

However, the measures announced Thursday would not replace the existing quarantine period, government officials said.

Daniel-Robert Gooch, president of the Canadian Airports Council, said that although the group approved of testing international travellers, he was concerned that the testing requirement coupled with the 14-day quarantine was overly restrictive for passengers.

On Thursday afternoon, Unifor, a trade union that represents 300,000 airline workers, renewed its call for government assistance for the airline sector in light of the new testing requirement.

“Yesterday’s announcement is important to protect the public safety of all Canadians, but at the same time, the federal government’s continued refusal to provide adequate financial support for the 300,000 airline workers puts the very future of Canada’s airline industry in jeopardy,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National president.

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3 hours ago, dagger said:

There are two reasons I wouldn't do that. Rapid tests still have a high false negative rate, so you'd be releasing people into the population prematurely who might have been infected but are not yet generating enough of the virus for a rapid test to catch. A day or two later, that might not be the case. The PCR test is a lot more sensitive but it's not an instant test, it requires lab processing. Secondly, the last thing you want is a crowded hall of hundreds of passengers waiting for test results, because even rapid tests take 15-60 minutes to process. Talk about a super spreader event.

As for travel, I'm sorry to disagree with Upper Deck's comment above, but what happened in the first wave of the pandemic when some provinces had more meaningful lockdowns doesn't apply to the current situation with the looming presence of a more readily transmissible variant. The fact is, most Canadians now are masking indoors at stores, doing restaurant pickup, etc. The most reckless behaviour by Canadians is probably by those running around maskless at resorts like Cancun or in Florida. Last night's New Year's celebration in Tampa is a prime example - mostly maskless people, no social distancing, a virus super spreader event. And it happened on a day when Florida set a record for new cases - over 17,000. Many of the people who are doing vacation travel, particularly to hot spots, may well feel invulnerable or that the rules they are told to follow don't apply to them.

What we learned from tourism in the first wave, whether it was people who massed in Austrian ski resorts or tourists who flocked to Spain in the summer, is that these people provided a conduit for the virus to spread widely throughout Europe. That's all been tracked by testing. Also, this new variant from the UK is showing up in more young people - with symptoms - and portends a worse outcome for under-50s than the standard variant, which will also help spread it to over-50s. 

I have no idea why we would encourage people by lowering barriers to go to vacation hot spots where they behave in ways they wouldn't or couldn't here in Canada at a time when the number of cases here is threatening to explode and overwhelm the healthcare system in several provinces.

https://www.tampabay.com/news/health/2021/01/01/tampa-bay-had-crowded-new-years-eve-parties-on-same-day-florida-broke-coronavirus-record/

 

What's your suggestion then. 

Canadians have a constitutional right to exit and enter this country. You can't prevent them from coming home. That's their right. 

Your likelihood of missing an infected arrival on a false negative in rapid tests are slim, especially when you do follow up testing and robust contact tracing.  The risk is minimal and better than what we've been doing for the past 10 months, and it doesn't deny people their rights.

Even if you support remote testing, understand that you are certain to be stripping healthy Canadians of their right to enter their own country as false positives on PCR tests can be very high. Depending on the population false positives can be well over 50%.

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Does anyone else get tired of people talking about their “rights”? It’s almost like they’re not aware of how those “rights” were promulgated. Our society gives you your “rights” and our society can amend and/or suspend your “rights”. During this unprecedented time, society has cordially requested that you limit your “right” to travel in order to protect your fellow citizens. Would martial law be preferable?

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