Photo: The Canadian Press
British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix pauses while answering questions during a news conference in Vancouver.
British Columbia’s health minister said he supports Ottawa’s decision to temporarily require travelers from China, Hong Kong and Macao to test negative for COVID-19 before departing for Canada, beginning in January.
Adrian Dix said in a press release that the county will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation around the world while working with federal partners to ensure the public is protected and informed.
The federal government said the measure, announced in a separate statement on Saturday, is “in response to the escalation of COVID-19 in the People’s Republic of China and in view of the available epidemiological and viral genetic sequencing data on these cases.”
Beginning January 5, Ottawa says, people two years of age or older traveling from all three countries will be required to provide the airline with a negative COVID-19 test result, at least two days before departure, prior to travel. to Canada. .
Dix says the Public Health Agency of Canada is also conducting a pilot project with Vancouver International Airport on testing aircraft sewage.
He says this project, an extension of an already existing project at Toronto Pearson International Airport, will assess the spread of COVID-19 from different parts of the world and monitor emerging variables of concern.
“Everyone is strongly encouraged to be immunized and strengthened against COVID-19 to ensure that they give themselves the best protection in the New Year,” Dix said in a statement marking the New Year.
“Anyone planning to travel to China should ensure they are up-to-date on immunizations and take extra precautions to avoid getting sick, as access to healthcare may be limited. Travelers should also refer to travel advisories issued by the Government of Canada when considering travel to China.