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Vancouver International Airport to begin mandatory temperature screening tomorrow

Canada's chief medical officer of health says the checks aren't fail-proof because some who contract the virus are asymptomatic at first or never develop any signs of COVID-19
Screen Shot 2020-07-29 at 3.17.21 PM
Photo: Temperature taking / Getty Images

Starting this week, travellers at Vancouver International Airport will have more than their tickets checked.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau announces that mandatory temperature screenings will come into effect at Canada's four largest airports starting Thursday, July 30. 

In June, Garneau stated that the Government of Canada will now require temperature screenings for all passengers travelling to Canada or travellers departing Canadian airports for either international or domestic destinations.

The government is taking a phased approach to implementing temperature screening. Effectie July 9, all air operators had to begin conducting temperature screenings of all passengers travelling to Canada prior to departure from international or transborder points of departure.

Starting Thursday, 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).

In September, 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).

“As Minister of Transport, my highest priority is the safety and security of Canadians and the transportation system," said Garneau.

"We have already introduced measures to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19, including mandating face coverings, and publishing health guidance for the air industry. Mandatory temperature screenings are yet another measure in our multi-layered approach to help protect the safety of the travelling public and air industry workers.”

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.

Air Canada began mandatory customer pre-flight temperature checks system-wide on May 15. Westjet, Perimeter, Bearskin, Keewatin and CalmAir have also independently elected to pilot the implementation of passenger temperature screening.

With this in mind, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief medical officer of health, says the checks aren't fail-proof because some who contract the virus are asymptomatic at first or never develop any signs of COVID-19.

"The more you actually understand this virus, the more you begin to know that temperature-taking is not effective at all," she said in a conference.

Read a B.C. man's opinion about why temperature-taking for COVID-19 is discriminatory HERE.

While the World Health Organization states that thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have a fever, it underscores that they cannot detect people who are infected with COVID-19.

The organization adds that there are, "many causes for a fever."

This article was originally published by Vancouver Is Awesome