WestJet today welcomed the announcement of a COVID-19 testing trial by the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta. In a joint media statement, the governments announced the launch of a new pilot program to safely test a reduced quarantine period, while protecting Canadians from COVID-19.
International travellers returning to Canada through the Calgary International Airport via a non-stop flight will be initially invited to participate. For eligible travellers, quarantine will only be required until a negative test result is received, reducing the quarantine from 14-days to as few as two. The start date of the trial is November 2. Details can be found here.
"This announcement is welcomed by WestJet and I applaud and thank Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Jason Kenney for taking this important step in providing peace of mind to anxious travellers," said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. "We have been asking for a science-based approach based on multiple layers of testing to help safely ease the quarantine requirements. With our home and largest hub in Calgary, guests from the province will be the first to experience this important trial as an alternative to a 14-day quarantine."
Since the beginning of the pandemic, WestJet has implemented more than 20 additional health and safety measures during the travel journey and continues to evolve its cleaning to meet the needs of guests and WestJetters. Beyond what is already in place through the Safety Above All program, the airline is leaving no stone unturned to uncover additional safety measures. WestJet is taking a data-driven, science-based approach to develop and evaluate operational policies and practices and review the latest research and recommendations from both internal and third-party experts including the University of Alberta and University of British Columbia. Since March, the airline has safely flown more than one million guests on more than 25,000 flights with no reported cases of transmission on board.