Canada will now require temperature screenings for all passengers travelling to Canada or travelers departing Canadian airports for either international or domestic destinations.
For international flights to Canada, air operators must conduct temperature screenings at the point of departure, unless the local authority has an equivalent measure in place, in addition to the existing required health check questions for symptoms prior to boarding.
Within Canada, Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) screeners will conduct the temperature screening of passengers as part of departure screening procedures. This is in addition to the health screening questions and the wearing of face coverings that are already required for all passengers.
The Government of Canada is taking a phased approach to implementing temperature screening.
- Phase 1: By June 30, 2020, all air operators will be required to conduct temperature screenings of all passengers travelling to Canada prior to departure from international or transborder points of departure.
- Phase 2: By the end of July, temperature screening stations will be placed in the departure section of the four major airports that are currently identified as the only Canadian airports for international travel (Montréal, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver).
- Phase 3: By September 2020, temperature screening stations will be in place in the departure sections of the next 11 busiest airports in Canada (St. John’s, Halifax, Québec City, Ottawa, Toronto – Billy Bishop, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Kelowna, Victoria).
In addition, all employees and personnel that enter or work in the restricted area of the airport will be subject to temperature screening procedures by CATSA personnel.
All passengers who have an elevated temperature and do not have a medical certificate to explain a medical or physical condition that would result in an elevated temperature, will not be permitted to continue their travel and will be asked to re-book after 14 days.
Temperature screening can be conducted with a variety of technologies, from traditional thermometers, to digital infrared thermometers, to sophisticated thermal camera-based systems that can automatically screen large numbers of travelers in queues.
For primary screening, Transport Canada says procurement will be focused on touchless technology options that facilitate mass screening and will also manage any privacy concerns.
The implementation of measures would not prescribe a single type of equipment to use. Instead, an approved list of technologies will be developed specifying a minimum threshold for accuracy, with advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Acquisition of equipment will be conducted by CATSA, and the approved list will allow for maximum operational flexibility to choose technologies suited to operational realities at different locations, as well as ensure the best value for Canadians.
In response to COVID-19, countries like Italy, Poland, Chile, Mexico, China, South Korea, and India have implemented required temperature screening protocols for travelers at certain airports. Other countries like Belgium, France and Spain are recommending temperature screening. In Canada, a number of airline operators including Air Canada, Westjet, Perimeter, Bearskin, Keewatin and CalmAir have independently elected to pilot the implementation of passenger temperature screening. The United States has also pilot tested temperature screening.