Toronto Pearson Airport reverses decision to separate arrivals by vaccination status

TORONTO — After announcing last week that they would separate international arrivals based on vaccination status, Toronto Pearson Airport has reversed the decision.

On Saturday, Senior Advisor of Communications at Toronto Pearson, Beverly MacDonald told CTV News Toronto that the airport was separating arrivals into vaccinated and unvaccinated queues prior to going through customs.

The airport said the decision was made to help streamline border clearance, as there are different entry requirements for vaccinated and non- or partially-vaccinated travellers.

That decision has been reversed now, the airport said in a statement received Sunday night.

“Toronto Pearson, in collaboration with the government and other partners, has determined that separation of vaccinated and partially/non vaccinated travellers in customs lines results in minimal operational efficiencies,” a statement from the airport read.

“As such, the practice will be ceased as of July 26, 2021, with entry requirements based on vaccination status being enforced once a passenger reaches CSBA.”

Vancouver International Airport has also announced it will stop the practice.

“[Effective] immediately, passengers entering Canada from the U.S. or another international destination will no longer be separated based on vaccination status prior to reaching Customs,” Melanie Belanger-Finn of the Vancouver Airport Authority said.

Recently, Ontario Premier Doug Ford shut down the idea of “vaccine passports” — proof of vaccination intended to help streamline international travel.

“The answer is no, we’re not gonna do it. We’re not gonna have a split society,” Ford told reporters on July 15.

However, the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table issued a 21-page briefing on the potential of a provincial vaccine certification program on Wednesday, claiming that one “could be useful in reopening higher-risk settings … sooner.”

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