Multiple Canada-based airlines are requesting loosened COVID-19 entry requirements. The airlines have expressed that fully vaccinated travelers should no longer have to get tested upon arrival.
Like all tourist industries worldwide, Canada’s tourism sector has suffered because of travel restrictions.
Right now, the nation’s entry restrictions are some of the most stringent on the continent. Aside from a few exemptions, unvaccinated travelers may not visit at all.
Even fully vaccinated individuals must currently get tested before visiting.
Air Canada and WestJet are the two biggest airlines encouraging the government to drop arrival testing. Toronto Pearson airport is doing the same.
Air Canada, WestJet, and Toronto Pearson sent a message to the provincial governments of Ottawa and Ontario. The letter states that workers handling tests are having difficulty acquiring tests and managing test processing.
The airlines and the airport behind the message have also suggested that testing travelers upon arrival interfere with appropriate resource allocation. When symptomatic Canadians are already struggling to get tested, it might not make sense to use tests on asymptomatic visitors.
The airlines and Toronto Pearson said that tests should go to high-risk patients and people in settings with a high risk of transmission.
Between Nov. 28 and Dec. 25, slightly over 1% of fully vaccinated visitors had positive COVID-19 results. That amount is lower than the percentage of positive tests among Canada’s population.
The omicron variant, which has spooked many governments, might not be a compelling reason to test travelers. The variant has already spread widely throughout the nation.
Currently, Canada’s rate of new COVID-19 cases per day is going down after a spike in early January. Death rates have risen sharply since the beginning of the year, but they’re still relatively low, hovering under 200 per day.