Pearson Airport backtracks on policy to separate arrivals based on COVID-19 vaccination status

Officials at Toronto Pearson International Airport say that travellers arriving from abroad will no longer be separated based on their COVID-19 vaccination status, reversing a decision put into place just last week.

“Toronto Pearson, in collaboration with government and other partners, has determined that separation of vaccinated and non/partially-vaccinated travellers in customs lines results in minimal operational efficiencies,” said a spokesperson for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) in a statement to CBC News on Tuesday.

The revised policy took effect on July 26, the statement added. Entry requirements based on vaccination status will be enforced only once a passenger reaches a Canada Border Services Agency officer.

The GTAA had announced last weekend that international arrivals would need to queue in two lines before going through customs: one line for fully immunized passengers and another for those who are either partially vaccinated or unvaccinated against the coronavirus.

At the time, a spokesperson said the measure would “help streamline the border clearance process.” 

As of July 5, fully vaccinated travellers permitted to enter Canada are exempted from quarantine measures and testing for COVID-19 on their eighth day post-arrival.

Travellers are still required to get a pre-entry test, a quarantine plan if not granted the exemption, and an arrival test.

There is also a requirements checklist that involves providing proof of vaccination in ArriveCan — the government portal to submit vaccine information.

More information on the airports COVID-19 protocols is available on the airport’s website.

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