Travel enthusiasts have been looking for a silver lining for about 8 months. It seemed like the opportunity to travel was getting further and further away. On November 2nd, 2020 the Calgary International Airport (YYC) and the Alberta Government implemented a pilot project for rapid testing upon arrival.
The purpose of the project was to open the doors to the travel industry while keeping citizens safe. Until now, the 14 day mandatory quarantine has been the obstacle for many people with regards to travel. Now, in Canada as we head into the busy winter season or what WAS known as the busy winter season the weather gets colder, the days get shorter and the nights are dark much earlier. When the deep freeze sets in, people want to leave. Even if you are the most proud Canadian who loves to ski snow and snowboard or whatever your winter hobby may be, majority of folks in the area love to escape on that winter vacation.
There's something about Vitamin D that does the soul good.
Last week, I had friends/ clients return from Palm Springs on a direct flight into Calgary. I was able to speak with her regarding the process and the protocols with the rapid testing at the airport and what it meant for her and her family and what the process was like.
A relatively smooth process that only took about 30 minutes to complete. Five days prior to arriving in Calgary the client registered online for the rapid test. Once at the airport they were greeted by Alberta Health Services and presented paperwork for testing and given two requisitions for the test. One requisition was for testing on arrival, the other was to be filled out and completed at that time and the next one in six to seven days. A simple throat swab and a negative test and they were free to go.
She mentioned that the entire time while traveling they felt safe. At check-in there was temperature checks, the service staff on the aircraft were very cognizant and the screening questions were still in place. The flight was completely full when they departed for Palm Springs. This is great news and having the ability to travel to her home in California was a wonderful gift.
As the government continues to offer this program, travelers are seemingly more eager to travel to those beach destinations this winter. My recommendation for clients is to still have a prepared plan in place should they require the 14 day quarantine upon return.
But for now travelers in and out of the Calgary International Airport can feel confident in knowing that the quarantine time could be reduced 2 two days.
It seems like a great solution for our industry at this time in assisting those travelers who are eager to travel.
**It is important to remember, you must be arriving to YYC on a direct international flight.