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Canada s Border Agency Unveils New Screening Questions During Pandemic

Canada s Border Agency Unveils New Screening Questions During Pandemic
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A Canada Border Services Agency patch is seen on an officer in Calgary in August 2019.New arrivals to Canada are now being asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

OTTAWA The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced new screening questions for travellers arriving Monday following a weekend of disarray at points of entry into the country, especially airports.

While the federal government wants people returning to Canada from abroad to stay in isolation for 14 days, travellers reported customs officials werent routinely providing the direction to new arrivals, prompting fear, anger and frustration.

Automated questionnaires administered through touchscreens at entry points will now ask all travellers arriving from overseas whether they have a cough, difficulty breathing or are feeling feverish, the CBSA said on Twitter.

New arrivals will also be required to acknowledge that theyre being asked to self-isolate for two weeks to keep COVID-19 from spreading.

#COVID19 : New enhanced measures continue to be added at all of #Canada s international airports including these new screening questions for ALL travellers arriving from ANY international destination. #FlattenTheCurve pic.twitter.com/kGZaDPt28N

Provinces and municipalities are stepping up their own efforts at local airports.

Montreal health officials say civil security and public-health workers will be at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport to remind travellers they must self-isolate upon returning to Canada.

Dr. Mylene Drouin, Montreals director of public health, said the measures are needed because travellers arriving in the province did not appear to be taking Quebecs order requiring two weeks of isolation seriously.

The recently trained additional staff are expected to be on the ground Monday afternoon.

Travellers will pass by the employees before they leave the airport and be given information sheets and asked to note their symptoms and take their temperatures twice a day during the isolation period, Drouin said.

Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said travellers must be made aware that upon arriving in Canada, they cannot go to work, school or anywhere else for two weeks.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney also said Sunday that he was directing provincial officials to check up on airports in the province after he visited Edmonton International Airport to investigate reports of inadequate screening of international travellers.

The union representing Canadas border officers was also set to meet with the CBSA on Monday after raising concerns last week about a lack of information and guidance to its members, one of whom has tested positive for COVID-19.

There were at least 354 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada as of Monday morning and more probable cases, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. One person has died of the respiratory illness.
Read more on The Huffington Post
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