Toronto Pearson Airport begins separating arrivals based on vaccination status
TORONTO -- International passengers arriving at Toronto Pearson Airport will now be separated by vaccination status before heading through customs, the airport confirmed Saturday.
“Passengers entering Canada from the U.S. or another international destination may be split into vaccinated and non/partially-vaccinated queues prior to reaching Canada Customs,” Beverly MacDonald, Senior Advisor of Communications at Toronto Pearson told CTV News Toronto Saturday,
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.
Currently, fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada may qualify for certain exemptions to quarantine and testing requirements, while non- or partially-vaccinated travellers will not qualify for exemptions to quarantine and testing requirements.
Come Aug. 9, fully vaccinated U.S. citizens will be exempt from quarantine and testing requirements, much like their Canadian counterparts.
“We know that the arrivals experience is different for passengers than it was in pre-pandemic times, and we appreciate passengers’ patience," MacDonald said.
Pearson isn’t the first Canadian airport to implement this strategy. Vancouver International Airport has also begun separating arrivals by vaccination status, installing signs directing vaccinated and non- or partially- vaccinated travellers into separate customs lines.
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 last week.
However, the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table issued a 21-page briefing on the potential of a provincial vaccine certification program Wednesday, claiming that one “could be useful in reopening higher-risk settings ... sooner.”