Alberta Will Reduce The Quarantine Times With Coronavirus Testing Pilot

Alberta province reduced the quarantine time for incoming travellers by offering coronavirus tests at certain airports and land border crossings.

Travelers must apply for the pilot by completing an application form up to five (5) days before arrival. If their test comes back negative, they won’t have to complete the mandatory fourteen (14)-day quarantine period.

All other returning international travelers must follow the mandatory quarantine period, the Alberta government webpage says. People who registered for the reduced quarantine pilot still have to arrive in Canada with an adequate fourteen (14) day quarantine plan.

So far the program is only available to international travelers landing through Calgary International Airport and Coutts land border crossing.

The pilot is expected to expand to other areas, but for now, passengers landing from other airports are not eligible. The Edmonton International Airport is expecting to join the pilot in early 2021, says a border official.

Travelers who are qualified for the pilot include returning Canadians and foreign citizens who are exempt from travel restrictions. There are a number of scenarios where foreign nationals are exempt, such as international travelers coming to Canada to visit immediate family members.

These travelers must be coming for more than fifteen (15) days, or have an essential reason to be in Canada for a smaller amount of time.

International travelers who are exempted under another category may also be qualified for the pilot. International students going to a Designated Learning Institution with a coronavirus readiness plan, for instance, were added to the list of exempt travelers last month. Holders of work permits and some approved permanent residents are also exempted.

Canada also opened the borders to foreigners coming to Canada for compassionate reasons, like to care for a sick family member, to be present in the final moments of life, or to attend a funeral.

Travelers who are not qualified for reduced quarantine include those with coronavirus symptoms, who have had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case within fourteen (14) days of arriving in Alberta, and those who do not have a viable quarantine plan.

People who left a foreign country and transferred flights to another Canadian airport before landing in Calgary are also not qualified. Travelers must be coming to the approved port of entry from abroad.

Also, travelers are not qualified if they are leaving Alberta for another Canadian province in less than fourteen (14) days. They may be eligible, however, if they are leaving Canada from Alberta within fourteen (14) days.