Home » Federal authorities lists COVID-19 testing companies overseas after new rule strands many travellers

Federal authorities lists COVID-19 testing companies overseas after new rule strands many travellers

by newsking24

Transport Canada is providing extra particulars this week about the place travellers can get a COVID-19 take a look at overseas — and what occurs in the event that they’re caught utilizing a faux one — after a brand new testing rule for passengers flying to Canada triggered widespread confusion and nervousness.

The new authorities coverage, which took impact Jan. 7, requires that every one air passengers 5 years and older present documentation of a detrimental laboratory polymerase chain response (PCR) or loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) take a look at not than three days earlier than flying to Canada.

Some travellers have struggled to search out official laboratory assessments as a result of the federal government didn’t initially supply an inventory of places the place the assessments may very well be obtained.

“There has been a great deal of confusion among passengers in terms of their obligations,” mentioned Mike McNaney, president and CEO of the National Airlines Council of Canada. “People have been showing up … unaware that they needed to get the test, or were unable to get a test, or perhaps did get a test, but it was the wrong test.”

Five days after the implementation of the brand new rule, the federal authorities launched a web site for passengers travelling to Canada that lists accredited testing websites in some nations.

WATCH: Minister Marc Garneau publicizes new testing rule for air travellers

Transport Minister Marc Garneau, together with different ministers, introduced that every one travellers should present a detrimental PCR take a look at earlier than boarding a aircraft heading for Canada. 1:10

That occurred too late to assist Todd Warren, who was within the Dominican Republic together with his three teenage youngsters when the testing rule was launched. With no steering from the federal government, he mentioned, he was left scrambling to discover a official testing service.

Bogus assessments, excessive costs

“It was a bit stressful when we were down there,” Warren advised CBC News through FaceTime from his dwelling outdoors Ottawa, the place he’s ready out his 14-day quarantine.

Warren mentioned that when information emerged of the brand new COVID-19 testing rule, he began to see native individuals benefiting from the state of affairs by promoting faux assessments on the seaside for about $three to $5 US.

“I guess word on the street was that this was very profitable,” he mentioned. “So they were telling their friends, and you saw people all over the beach with … laptops.

“There was no testing accomplished. So principally it was a template, a PDF file that had the place you simply gave them your title and that was it. They would electronic mail it to you.”

He said he eventually found legitimate tests at a clinic — but the prices fluctuated.

“So they began off, I do not know the precise quantity, but it surely was round $1,000 and we obtained it right down to $79. And he mentioned he was giving us a deal as a result of there was 4 of us,” said Warren.

“We obtained fortunate there. The folks that went earlier than us really ended up spending $1,500 and they did not know that they had been capable of negotiate the worth.”

Warren and his kids received their negative test results just hours before their flight home departed. Others haven’t been so fortunate.

Hundreds of passengers left behind

WestJet reports that, in the first four days after the federal government announced the new testing rule, it refused to board 363 travellers because some had paid for illegitimate tests, some hadn’t obtained tests at all and some had failed to get their testing done within the required three-day window.

Air Transat said it refused to board 148 passengers over those four days due to problems with testing, while another 300 people simply failed to check in for their flights.

CBC News has asked Air Canada and Sunwing to report the number of passengers they’ve refused to board due to testing problems. Air Canada said it didn’t know the number and Sunwing has yet to reply.

McNaney said that, by introducing the new rule in a rush, the government has left airlines holding the bag.

“So carriers have been working very onerous to attempt to re-accommodate passengers to vary itineraries, to vary flight schedules in order that they’ll be capable of get a take a look at accomplished in the timeframe mandatory,” he said. “And what we’ve got additionally been doing is offering passengers with as a lot data as we are able to on testing places.”

Transport Canada also has directed a warning at travellers who use fake tests, and at airlines that consciously accept those test results.

“If an air provider suspects {that a} traveller has offered false or deceptive data associated to their take a look at outcomes, they’re required to inform Transport Canada,” said a department spokesperson.

“Air carriers failing to adjust to the necessities of Transport Canada’s Interim Order or different regulatory necessities below the Aeronautics Act may very well be topic to a superb of as much as $5,000.”

The testing requirement is along with the present obligatory 14-day quarantine interval for returning travellers. The journey restrictions on most overseas nationals additionally stay in place.

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