MONTREAL — Starting Dec. 15 passengers flying out of YUL Montreal-Trudeau International Airport can take advantage of a rapid screening process for COVID-19.
ADM Aéroports de Montréal and Biron Health Group Inc. made the announcement today. The antigenic tests will make it possible to perform certified and rapid tests within 15 minutes.
In the project’s starting phase the rapid tests will be offered by reservation to passengers whose final destination is metropolitan France and who are taking a flight served by Air Canada – the initial partner of the project – Air France, KLM or Air Transat.
Other destinations could be added to the pilot project, says Philippe Rainville, President and CEO of ADM Aéroports de Montréal.
The screening will be carried out by Biron professionals in an area set aside for this purpose on the departures level of the airport terminal.
“The measures deployed as part of the Travel with Confidence program at YUL, such as taking temperatures and setting up health checkpoints at the three entrances to our terminal, have already proven to be effective,” said Rainville. “However, it is essential that further initiatives are put forward by airports, airlines and public health teams to ensure that travel is resumed. The pilot screening test project improves the procedures already in place and represents a decisive step in ensuring the safest possible travel for passengers. The industry must be innovative and adapt to a new reality, and ADM is proud to be contributing to this effort together with its partners.”
Rainville pointed to other pilot projects already underway in the country, including Alberta’s initiative, launched in October at YYC with the provincial government and federal public health agencies, aimed at reducing the 14-day mandatory quarantine period currently in place for travellers entering Canada. ADM is in discussions to eventually offer the same type of tests to arriving passengers, he said.
The YUL project will start on Dec. 15 and will last for an initial period of eight weeks. The test, offered at a cost of $149, uses a nasal swab and will be minimally intrusive. The antigenic test used by Biron is approved by Health Canada and recognized in France. Tests are available by reservation only and for now only passengers authorized to travel to France will be able to book an appointment.
Passengers authorized to travel to metropolitan France also have the option of going to a Biron service point, or to call the laboratory of their choice within 72 hours prior to their departure to obtain their negative screening certificate via a standard test (PCR) or will be required to be tested upon arrival in France at the airport;
All passengers participating in the pilot project will still need to continue to observe the mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon their return to Canada.
The project got feedback from partner Air Canada as well as Air France-KLM and Transat:
“We are very pleased to be working with Aéroports de Montréal and Biron on this new initiative which will allow our customers flying to France to travel with confidence and peace of mind. Among all the measures based on a scientific approach put forward by Air Canada in recent months, the screening test at the airport is by far the most important. Rapid screening is an effective and responsible alternative that facilitates the safe relaxation of global travel restrictions and quarantine measures, while protecting the health and safety of the travelling public.”
– Dr. Jim Chung, Chief Medical Officer of Air Canada.
“We are very proud of our collaboration with Aéroports de Montréal and Biron Health Group, which will help facilitate travel preparations for our customers able to fly to mainland France, whose entry requirements now include the presentation of a negative test result. At Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, we value and care about the health, wellbeing and travel experience of our customers. We proactively entered into an agreement with Biron Health Group early on so that travelers could obtain their test results quickly to meet the requirements of their destination country. This new initiative offered right at the airport in Montreal is in line with our efforts to ensure travel in all serenity.”
– Catherine Guillemart-Dias, VP and General Manager of Air France KLM Canada
“Since Montreal is our largest hub, it was only natural for us to participate in this pilot project and we are delighted to be able to offer this simple alternative to our customers who are travelling to France in greater numbers as the holiday season approaches. We warmly applaud this initiative, which supports our joint efforts to boost tourism by enabling us to develop effective and safe solutions that we hope will help ease the travel restrictions currently in place.”
– Annick Guérard, Chief Operating Officer of Transat.
More details on the terms and conditions of the pilot project can be found at: https://yulsatisfaction.admtl.