The Alberta government says they are enacting the strongest public health measures in the country for international travellers to prevent the spread of travel-related COVID-19 cases.
Public health measures will be implemented in phases.
During the first phase, travellers arriving at the Calgary and Edmonton international airports from outside Canada will be required to pass through a provincial checkpoint where they will need to complete an Alberta isolation plan. Travellers will also undergo a thermal scan, as elevated body temperature is a potential symptom of COVID-19.
“Countries like Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea have been successful at mitigating the spread because they took immediate action securing their borders long before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic,” said Premier Jason Kenney today.
“I’ve been clear it was irresponsible for Canada to wait so long to close our borders, especially from countries with high levels of infection. While Alberta does not control who can fly here, we will deploy a more rigorous approach in screening international arrivals. These measures are critical to ensure we continue to flatten the curve and keep Albertans safe.”
As part of their isolation plan, travellers must detail if they have an appropriate place to isolate for the required 14 days, how they will travel to their isolation location, and their plans for getting essentials like food and medications. If required, provincial officials will help travellers access support to meet isolation requirements.
Government officials will follow up with travellers within three days to ensure they are following public health orders and have the information and support they need.
“As the peak of the virus passes and the world begins to move forward, travel will slowly increase,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health.
“Controlling the spread of COVID-19, especially travel-related cases, is a key step in protecting Albertans and continuing to flatten the curve. Protect yourselves and your loved ones by following all public health measures and practising physical distancing and good hygiene.”
The Calgary and Edmonton airports are also implementing enhanced cleaning protocols for arrival lounges and high-touch surfaces, placing hand sanitizer stations at every kiosk and touch screen machine.
Phase two will involve establishing a similar provincial checkpoint at the Alberta-U.S. border crossing at Coutts, which is the busiest in the province. The checkpoint will help welcome people to the province while ensuring travellers are aware of Alberta’s COVID-19 protocols. Essential economic travel will not be disrupted.
All travellers are also encouraged to download the ABTraceTogether app when they arrive in Alberta. The app enhances the current manual tracing process and helps protect people and their loved ones.
This initiative is part of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy to safely begin removing public health restrictions and reopen our economy. For more information, visit alberta.ca/RelaunchStrategy.
- The global travel advisory remains in effect, and the Canada-U.S. border remains closed to all non-essential traffic.
- All travellers arriving in Alberta from outside Canada are required to isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms.
- The most important measure Albertans can take to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, is to practise good hygiene.
- This includes cleaning your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow or sleeve, and disposing of tissues appropriately.
- Anyone who has health concerns or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should complete an online COVID-19 self-assessment.
- For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit alberta.ca/COVID19.
Sarah Murphy/Alberta Press Leader
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