Canada’s new COVID-19 testing requirement for international travelers has caused hundreds of people to miss their flights since the program was put in place a week ago.
Under the new restrictions, all passengers traveling to Canada from another country must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 72 hours before departure.
Since this requirement came into effect on January 7, WestJet says it has denied boarding to at least 385 passengers because they did not have such proof.
Likewise, Air Transat has denied boarding to at least 245 passengers for reasons related to testing since the same date, said a spokesperson for the airline.
Video: The vaccination operation victim of the government’s flip-flops (Le Devoir)
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Death of a girl in Laval: the neighborhood in shock
The peaceful rue de Bouthillier in Laval has turned into a crime scene since a 7-year-old girl was found lifeless. The tragedy that shook the family of Afghan origin is still considered a “suspicious death” according to police and no arrests have yet been made. Police are unable to confirm whether the girl died of abuse. “There are currently 12 forensic investigators on site who are crime scene experts. It should be understood that investigators are working very hard to understand the circumstances surrounding the death of the young girl. », Explains Stéphanie Beshara, public affairs officer at the Laval Police Department. The latter says that an autopsy should be done on the young victim on Monday. “The autopsy will really allow us to know what exactly happened and what caused the death of the young girl. When officers arrived at the scene, six family members, in addition to the victim, were at the scene, police confirm. The latter were all met with an interpreter during the night, as they speak Farsi. They are all considered “witnesses” at this stage of the investigation.
Longer and stricter confinement already demanded
Public health experts are calling for an extension of the lockdown after January 11 in Quebec, given the continued increase in the number of new daily cases of COVID-19. Unless there is a change in tone from Quebec this week, the reopening of schools and non-essential businesses is still scheduled for next Monday. However, the latest data published by the authorities on the state of the pandemic in the province are giving shivers. While the effects of confinement should have started to be felt on the epidemiological curve, new daily contaminations have continued to increase. On January 3, the authorities’ report showed 7,663 additional COVID-19 contaminations between December 31 and January 2. According to Marina Klein, professor of medicine at McGill University, specializing in infectious and viral diseases, there was a sustained and widespread community transmission before the holidays, and it developed despite the measures put in place during celebrations. “We must put in place strict containment measures as soon as possible, including delaying the return to school, keeping all businesses except the most important closed and limiting travel,” she said. The professor says she understands the fatigue of Quebecers, who have been immersed for more than nine months in this pandemic, but believes the extension and strengthening of containment measures necessary.
Bye Bye 2020: “Fun, isolated, everyone together”
A WestJet spokeswoman explained that the travelers were turned away because of improper testing – they had taken antigen or antibody tests, rather than the required PCR test in Canada – or because they did not not passed a test, or had passed it more than 72 hours before departure.
As the test results requirement was announced, Canada’s major airlines unsuccessfully asked the government for an 11-day extension to implement the new rules, warning they would lead to confusion for passengers.
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The Canadian Press