If there was one person who could truly be called an icon of the travel industry, it was Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart.
CALGARY — WestJet is expanding its pre-travel testing program with the state of Hawaii to include travellers from Ontario and British Columbia, in addition to those from Alberta.
The Canadian program, first announced last month by Hawaii Governor David Ige, is an extension of the ‘Safe Travels Hawaii’ pre-travel testing program that gives travellers an alternative to Hawaii’s mandatory 14-day quarantine. With the new Canadian program, launching this month in collaboration with both WestJet and Air Canada, Canadians who test negative for COVID-19 with approved labs prior to travel can essentially bypass quarantine upon arrival in Hawaii.
WestJet, which initially announced a partnership with DynaLIFE in the province of Alberta to kick off the program, is now also collaborating with LifeLabs in Ontario and British Columbia to offer State of Hawaii-approved pre-departure testing. A negative COVID test within 72 hours of departure will exempt guests from Hawaii’s required quarantine.
In Ontario, through its FlyClear program, LifeLabs will provide WestJet guests with a convenient way to book a COVID-19 test online at a participating Shoppers Drug Mart across the province ahead of travelling to Hawaii. The cost of the test in Ontario is $199 plus tax, payable by the guest. Tests can be booked online at LifeLabs.com/FlyClear.
Those wishing to book a pre-departure test in British Columbia can locate a LifeLab partner clinic listed on westjet.com/covidtesting. The cost of the test of $250 plus tax, payable by the guest. WestJet and LifeLabs will release more information on additional B.C. testing locations shortly.
“As Canada’s largest medical laboratory, LifeLabs has been focused on providing Canadians with COVID-19 testing solutions that keeps them safe – whether it’s in their own communities or when travelling abroad,” said Charles Brown, President and CEO of LifeLabs. “We are proud to partner with WestJet to provide their guests with access to convenient testing and high-quality, reliable results.”
Guests travelling to Hawaii are responsible for ensuring they receive a test within 72 hours of their flight departing to Hawaii in order to avoid quarantine and will be required to display their negative test result prior to boarding. If test results are not available before boarding the final leg of the trip, the traveller must quarantine for 14 days or the length of the stay, whichever is shorter.
All visitors intending to visit Hawaii must register prior to travel. Hawaii entry requirements can be found at https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/.
Last month, WestJet announced its December schedule, which includes direct service to Hawaii starting on Dec. 18. The airline will fly twice-weekly, nonstop service between Vancouver and Honoulu and Vancouver and Maui, as well as nonstop Dreamliner service between Calgary and Honolulu and Calgary and Maui (in partnership with DynaLife). From Vancouver, WestJet will offer twice-weekly, nonstop service to Honolulu and Maui.
Air Canada, also taking part in Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program for Canadians, announced on Nov. 27 that it is collaborating with Shoppers Drug Mart to offer guests the opportunity to take a pre-departure COVID-19 RT-PCR test. The test, currently available at participating Shoppers Drug Mart locations in Ontario, Alberta and B.C., is available for customers flying to any destination requiring a negative COVID-19 test, including Hawaii and the Caribbean.