Passengers who fly out of Vancouver International Airport could soon be able to take a COVID-19 test before they board their flight. (YVR)

Vancouver airport to pilot pre-flight COVID-19 tests for select WestJet passengers

There are currently no point-of-care tests approved in Canada

Certain passengers flying out of Vancouver International Airport will have the option of getting a COVID-19 test as part of a pilot project being launched this fall.

In a joint statement from Vancouver Airport Authority CEO Tamara Vrooman and WestJet CEO Ed Sims, the executives said the measure was meant to instil confidence for passengers in an industry hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Canada Border Services Agency, air travel into the country last week was down 91 per cent, compared to the same week in 2019.

“We are working with government and health authorities to ensure the data we collect is useful for their purposes and we will be partnering with academia to marry our expertise in passenger movements to science,” the statement reads. “Our team will closely scrutinize the trial results to learn how we can further improve travel processes and evolve our safety measures as required.”

There are currently no point-of-care tests approved in Canada, according to Health Canada, although 14 are currently under review. A rapid test from Spartan Biosciences approved in April had its authorization pulled back less than one month later.


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