To protect Canadians from the outbreak of COVID-19, in March 2020, the Government of Canada established restrictions to limit travel to Canada and put in place public health measures for travellers allowed to enter the country. Travellers are screened by public health officials on arrival at the border. They must quarantine for a period of 14 days if they have no symptoms of COVID-19 and self-isolate for the same period if they do have symptoms.
Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour and Member of Parliament for Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced that the Government of Canada will invest $2.5 million in a study that will help us better understand the rate of COVID-19 infection among international travellers. The study will also review the importance of public health measures for travellers and assess the benefits and risks of an airport-based COVID-19 testing and surveillance program.
First initiated in September 2020, the Canadian International COVID-19 Surveillance Border Study is being conducted by McMaster HealthLabs (MHL) in partnership with Air Canada and the Greater Toronto Airport Authority. The funding from the Government of Canada, provided through a partnership between Health Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, will allow the MHL team to increase the number of participants to approximately 17,000, recruited from international travellers arriving at Toronto’s Pearson Airport.