Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was first to make this announcement during his daily coronavirus briefing on Friday June 12. It will be mandatory for airlines to screen passengers before boarding flights, which will complement existing safety measures.
For instance, Canada also currently mandates that travelers quarantine for two weeks when arriving to the country.
Canada has had travel restrictions in place since March 18 to limit the spread of COVID-19 which are set to expire on June 30. The federal government has yet to provide indication on its plans beyond this month.
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Canada’s transport minister Marc Garneau has said that it will take several months to implement this new policy.
In the first phase, the requirement will take effect by the end of June for travelers coming to Canada.
Minister Garneau said it will then be expanded to Canada’s four largest airports by the end of July (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary).
By the end of September, it will be expanded to 11 more airports in Canada.
Canada will make it a requirement for airlines overseas to check passengers for fevers, something which many airlines are already doing.
Doing this inside of Canada, however, will take some time to introduce. The federal government still needs to purchase screening equipment and establish procedures.
Garneau said that any traveler with a fever will have their temperature checked again within 10 minutes. If the second check confirms the fever, the passenger will not be permitted to board the flight and will be told to try boarding again in 14 days.
The minister noted the federal government is working with airlines to allow such passengers to rebook their trip without incurring significant rebooking fees.
While temperature screenings are not yet in place at Canadian airports, the country has mandated other health precautions such as social distancing at airports, mandatory masks for all passengers and air crew, cleaning protocols, and health questionnaires.
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