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

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 brought on widespread confusion and anxiousness.

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

Some travellers have struggled to search out professional laboratory exams as a result of the federal government didn’t initially supply a listing of areas the place the exams may very well be obtained.

“There was an excessive amount of confusion amongst passengers by way of their obligations,” stated Mike McNaney, president and CEO of the Nationwide Airways Council of Canada. “Individuals have been displaying up … unaware that they wanted to get the take a look at, or have been unable to get a take a look at, or maybe did get a take a look at, nevertheless it was the flawed take a look at.”

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

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

Transport Minister Marc Garneau, together with different ministers, introduced that each one travellers should present a damaging PCR take a look at earlier than boarding a airplane 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 stated, he was left scrambling to discover a professional testing service.

Bogus exams, excessive costs

“It was a bit aggravating once we have been down there,” Warren instructed CBC Information by way of FaceTime from his dwelling exterior Ottawa, the place he’s ready out his 14-day quarantine.

Warren stated that when information emerged of the brand new COVID-19 testing rule, he began to see native folks making the most of the scenario by promoting faux exams on the seaside for about $3 to $5 US.

“I suppose phrase on the road was that this was very worthwhile,” he stated. “So that they have been telling their pals, and also you noticed folks everywhere in the seaside with … laptops.

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

He stated he ultimately discovered professional exams at a clinic — however the costs fluctuated.

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

“We acquired fortunate there. The folks that went earlier than us really ended up spending $1,500 and they did not know that they have been in a position to negotiate the worth.”

Warren and his children acquired their damaging take a look at outcomes simply hours earlier than their flight dwelling departed. Others have not been so lucky.

A whole bunch of passengers left behind

WestJet studies that, within the first 4 days after the federal authorities introduced the brand new testing rule, it refused to board 363 travellers as a result of some had paid for illegitimate exams, some hadn’t obtained exams in any respect and a few had did not get their testing accomplished inside the required three-day window.

Air Transat stated it refused to board 148 passengers over these 4 days attributable to issues with testing, whereas one other 300 folks merely did not verify in for his or her flights.

CBC Information has requested Air Canada and Sunwing to report the variety of passengers they’ve refused to board attributable to testing issues. Air Canada stated it did not know the quantity and Sunwing has but to answer.

McNaney stated that, by introducing the brand new rule in a rush, the federal government has left airways holding the bag.

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

Transport Canada additionally has directed a warning at travellers who use faux exams, and at airways that consciously settle for these take a look at outcomes.

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

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

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

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