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Transport Canada Is Temporarily Stopping Random COVID-19 Airport Tests

The change is supposed to help with delays.

A plan takes off in front of the Air Canada hub at Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.

A plan takes off in front of the Air Canada hub at Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.

Canada will suspend mandatory random COVID-19 testing for vaccinated travellers at all airports until June 30. Unvaccinated travellers will still be tested on-site until July 1, when testing for all travellers will move off-site. Transport Canada announced the change on Friday, saying it will reduce wait times at Canadian airports.

“Our efforts are having a positive impact. Current traveller wait times at major Canadian airports are decreasing," Transport Canada said in a statement.

Since early May, domestic and international passengers have been facing serious delays at airports all over the country. Some passengers have reported being stuck in lines over 500 people long, and some have even missed their flights as a result.

"Now in line for 1.5 hours. Another hour to go. Just to clear security for a domestic flight," one unhappy passenger tweeted at Toronto Pearson Airport.

For weeks, travellers flying out of Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport have been advised to arrive at least three hours early for departures for weeks.

Last month, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) reported that significant layoffs in the aviation industry, especially in the security-screening workforce, were a major cause of delays.

Since April, CATSA has hired 865 new screening officers to speed up processing times.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has announced it is also adding additional airport staff some days a week to make sure that travellers have completed their ArriveCAN submissions on arrival. The hires will help anyone having trouble with the app and keep passengers up-to-date about ongoing changes to airport safety protocol.

"The Government of Canada recognizes the impact that significant wait times at some Canadian airports are having on travellers. We continue to work with airports, airlines, baggage handlers, and other partners to implement solutions to reduce delays as we approach the summer peak season," said Transport Canada.

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