Wednesday, June 29, 2022

‘There has been demand’: Change in COVID-19 testing nears as travel bookings rise

Things are looking up at London International Airport.

On Tuesday, the federal government announced that it was phasing out pre-arrival PCR testing for fully vaccinated travelers starting February 28.

“Demand is lackluster and we’re seeing a lot of interest in returning passengers to the skies,” said Scott McFadzen, the airport’s new CEO.

He said air travel is likely to return in the coming months as the airport can once again handle international flights.

“We are going to see a lot more opportunities to connect with other hubs. For fall/winter next year we are going to see a return to southern destinations,” McFadzen said.

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Vaccinated Canadians will still need to take a rapid test before returning to Canada, as long as it is taken 24 hours before their scheduled flight.

Restrictions are also changing for non-vaccinated Canadians. Unvaccinated travelers will still need to be tested upon arrival in the country and will have to be quarantined for 14 days.

Children under 12 who are traveling with vaccinated adults will no longer have to isolate or be tested before attending school or daycare.

Travel vacation specialist Kelly-Lynn Balderston said eliminating pre-arrival PCR tests would help reduce costs for Canadians.

“Prior to PCR testing a family of four could cost up to US$600, but now with rapid antigen testing, they are at a much more reasonable cost,” Balderston said.

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As the pandemic continues to change, she says travelers should always keep an eye out for new restrictions before departing for their destinations.

“Travel restrictions vary from country to country and they change daily so everything we talk to customers today may not happen in two weeks,” she said.

The federal government is also no longer recommending people to avoid non-essential travel, although it is still asking Canada to be cautious because of the Omicron version.

Nation World News Desk
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