Mandatory temperature screenings at Canada’s busiest airports begin today

TORONTO — Starting today, July 30, mandatory temperature screening will be implemented in phases at Canada’s 15 busiest airports, including Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto-Pearson and Montreal-Trudeau, says the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA).

On or before Sept. 30, 2020, temperature screening operations will commence at the next 11 busiest airports: St. John’s; Halifax; Quebec City; Ottawa; Toronto-Billy Bishop; Winnipeg; Regina; Saskatoon; Edmonton; Kelowna; and Victoria.

All passengers departing from these airports will be required to undergo temperature screening prior to entering security screening as an added measure to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. They will have their temperature taken by either a temperature scanning camera on a stand that is stationed at a distance of two metres, or at a closer distance by a contactless, hand-held thermometer.

Glasses must be removed before a temperature reading can be taken by the camera, and passengers wearing headwear may have to temporarily adjust it to have their temperature measured. Private screenings will be available upon request.

Passengers with temperatures below 38 degrees Celsius – the threshold set by Transport Canada – will be able to proceed to the checkpoint. Those with temperatures at or above 38 degrees Celsius on the first screening will be asked to wait for 10 minutes in a nearby designated waiting area, unless they present a medical certificate indicating that their elevated temperature is not due to COVID-19 (a negative COVID-19 test is not sufficient).

If a second reading shows a temperature below 38, the passenger may proceed; if it remains at or above the threshold, or if the passenger refuses a second reading, they will not be permitted to enter and will be provided with further instructions. As per Transport Canada’s directive, the passenger will not be allowed to enter any restricted area at any airport in Canada for 14 days after the day of their elevated temperature reading, unless they provide a medical certificate certifying that it is not COVID-19 related. A third temperature check is not permitted.

All passengers must also wear a face covering before entering the screening checkpoint. Children under two years of age are exempt.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first announced mandatory temperature screening for all passengers coming through Canada’s airports on June 12. The phased approach first applied to passengers coming into Canada, then to those departing Canada, and finally to passengers travelling within Canada.

Prior to Prime Minister Trudeau’s announcement, Air Canada announced its own mandatory pre-flight passenger temperature checks as part of its new Air Canada CleanCare+ program. In addition to temperature checks, Air Canada also introduced care kits containing hand sanitizers and other health items as well as enhanced cabin grooming standards to include electrostatic sprayers.

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