Canada suspends random Covid-19 testing at airports

Canada suspends random Covid-19 testing at airports
© Belga

Canada’s government has announced the suspension of random Covid tests at airports from Saturday, in an effort to reduce the wait times faced by travellers, Belga News Agency reports.

The tests, carried out at random for arrivals to Canada, will resume “offsite” from the 1st of July, according to a government statement. National authorities aim to continue to work with airports and airlines "to implement solutions to reduce delays as we approach the peak summer season.”

Airline industry officials had blamed random testing for the long wait times at Canada’s already short-staffed airports. In Toronto and Montreal, for example, it has taken passengers hours to leave the airport in recent weeks. Across the country, all sectors of activity have been hit by staff shortages.

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Many passengers took to social media to complain that they had to wait for a long time in their planes on the tarmac before being authorised to disembark, after which they were forced to stand in long queues to claim their luggage.

The country’s number one carrier, Air Canada, acknowledged that it had been affected by these challenges. Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said the long delays at security and customs, especially at Toronto’s Pearson Airport, have forced airlines to cancel some flights.

Canada’s government has promised to take on more control officers, announcing in its statement that an additional 865 persons had joined its air transport security services since April.

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