OTTAWA — The federal government is mandating temperature screening for all passengers coming through Canada’s airports.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the new measures at this morning’s daily media briefing.
He also hinted that there will be more updates to come for the Canadian travel industry in the near future.
“Now we’re starting to talk about restarting the economy, perhaps seeing more people coming into Canada in the coming weeks,” he said.
Many airlines have already announced their own temperature checks and screenings procedures.
Now the temperature checks will be mandated across the board. The new policy will be brought in as a phased approach, first applying to passengers coming into Canada, then to passengers departing Canada, and finally passengers travelling within Canada.
Masks and face coverings are already mandatory for travellers and staff on planes, ships and trains.
Trudeau said the temperature screening will add another level of safety for passengers and crew. “A passenger who has a fever will not be permitted to board,” he said.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau is expected to speak further about the new measures this afternoon.
Reporters asked Trudeau why temperature screening would be mandatory, when some studies have shown that a fever isn’t necessary indicative of COVID-19. Some people are asymptomatic as well.
Trudeau agreed, but said the screening “is an another reasonable layer of protection.”
It is not a 100% solution, he said, “but it aligns with what many of our international partners are doing,” when it comes to reopening travel.
He added: “Science has certainly shown that people with fevers should not travel on airlines during a time of pandemic. It is an extra layer of precaution … it is a measure we can move forward with.”
Yesterday the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable issued an open letter to the federal and provincial governments, saying it’s #TimetoTravel and urging government officials to get the travel industry restarted by loosening travel restrictions.