March 25, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

Complete Canadian News World

Einstein at the airport | Press

Einstein at the airport |  Press

Having trouble understanding the rules that apply to travelers? This is normal.

Do they make your plans too complicated and you lose the desire to travel? This is also commonplace. That is a kind of goal.

The federal government warned Canadians a few months ago that the rules could change without warning and against you. This has been the case since the advent of the Omicron variant.

Ottawa has two goals: to protect Canadians and to prevent them from leaving the country. The whole question is whether the burden imposed on passengers is justified and whether there is a way to make the system less complicated.

Before I share my sentiments on this subject, I will try to explain, as they are very interesting.

Although the Trudeau government managed the purchase of vaccines well, it was criticized for its slow and slow border management at the beginning of the epidemic. With the advent of the Omicron variant, liberals did not want to repeat this mistake.

On Tuesday, November 30, just a week after the first headlines in the Omicron variant, the screw was tightened.

New measures are not so difficult to understand. This is not quantum physics. But they take a lot of time to explain and Ottawa infographics are too sketchy to include all the details.

Since last summer, Canadians and permanent residents abroad must undergo a PCR test three days before their return trip. Negative result must be submitted before boarding and then to customs upon arrival.

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These measures have now been strengthened for the list of 10 African countries in particular the Omicron * variant in circulation. If your flight departs from one of these countries and stops elsewhere, you must perform another test there and then wait for the result before taking your flight. For example, for the Cape Town – London – Montreal flight, you must exit the English airport, go to town, undergo a PCR test there and wait for the result before taking your connection.

It was like an impossible mission and Ottawa did not do it in secret. The aim here is to delay the inevitable spread of the variant. But why not impose such restrictions on countries like Belgium and the Netherlands that have observed the Omicron variant? Since travelers and health officials cooperate with other countries, it will be broadcast first, Ottawa responds. However, you need to cut the line somewhere. However, South Africa is being punished for saving the world by sounding the alarm.

And arrival?

Prior to the Omicron variant, Canadians were randomly tested by customs at the airport. One-fourth of them underwent PCR testing.

Here, too, the scale was tightened by the end of November.

Those who have passed in one of the 10 target countries must now undergo a PCR test upon arrival. They are sent by shuttle to a hotel-like quarantine center to wait for the result. Even if it is negative, they should keep themselves alone at home.

For those returning from the United States, nothing changes.

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Those from other countries (excluding the United States and 10 countries on the list) are more likely to be tested. It ranges from 25% to 40%.

Ottawa hopes to go 100% when logistics allows. There is no shortage of tests or staff, which is guaranteed. Instead, the problem is lack of space.

At many airports, the area is very narrow after going through customs. The queues there are huge, enough to create reconciliations that are not without risk.

The last point of complexity is the return flights with a domestic connection in Canada. For example, if your flight from Tokyo lands in Toronto, you will have a possible test after going through customs. You will be allowed to take your last flight to Montreal or Quebec before receiving the result. You have to be alone at home while waiting for him.

You do not have to be Einstein to go and understand. But you should not be in a hurry …

I understand bored travelers. I can criticize the confusion, but if I expanded it by exposing it, it would not help much.

Above all, I kept myself in the shoes of the federal government and I asked myself: Can we protect Canadians in the simplest way?

I’m waiting to find out the best option.

However, the federal government has a real problem with border management. It does not appear in the regulations imposed on passengers. Rather than in the inability of the federal government to apply them. Among his chronic failures was conducting a large number of tests and pursuing detention.

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For that matter, it’s a real mess.

At the beginning of the epidemic, the federal government was accused of not doing enough. Now there is a lot of criticism.

Of course, there is a constant from the beginning: what is needed in theory changes into practice for unexplained and unjustifiable reasons.

It is in these holes that the virus breaks out. And this should be condemned above all else.

* Here is a list of countries: Botswana, Egypt, Estonia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe.