Toronto Pearson Airport scraps decision to separate arrivals by vaccination status
TORONTO -- Toronto Pearson Airport has reversed a decision made last week to separate arriving international passengers based on vaccination status.
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.
“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.”
When asked about the reversal, Canadian Minister of Health Patty Hajdu told reporters Tuesday that she can not speak to the decisions made by international airports and that she was not consulted in the matter.
“I will just say this though, as you know, we have been adjusting measures at the border reflecting vaccination status and I assume that the many operators that are responsible for orderly transition through the variety of arrival halls are making decisions based on efficiency and on health principles,” Hajdu added.
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.