Ontario to launch pilot COVID testing program at Pearson for some arriving international passengers


Ontario Premier Doug Ford has announced a new pilot program at Pearson airport in Toronto which will offer free COVID-19 testing for arriving travellers.

The tests will available to international travellers who are staying the in the province for at least two weeks. 

Those travellers will still be required to quarantine for 14 days.

 Those who volunteer for the program will receive a test which will be processed in a lab.

"With over 60,000 international passengers coming into Pearson airport every week, we can't take any unnecessary risks," said Premier Ford. "That's why we're putting in place this new pilot program to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and respond to new threats like the recent strain of the virus we're seeing in an alarming number of countries without the same travel restrictions as the U.K. The test will be free for eligible travellers and I encourage everyone to take the test to protect yourselves and your loved ones."

The program is in addition to the new Government of Canada pre-departure requirement for travellers bound to Canada to demonstrate proof of negative COVID-19 results from a test taken within three days prior to departure. 

The province continues to work with the federal government to explore the next stage of the pilot, including a proposed modified quarantine period for participants who test negative.