The head of Vancouver International Airport says staff are ready to act as the only major airport in B.C. – and one of only four in Canada – to accept travellers into the country.
CEO Craig Richmond said that travellers arriving off overseas flights will be monitored closely for symptoms by Canada Border Services Agency staff and health-care staff.
“All incoming travellers no matter where their country of origin will face increased screening from CBSA officers and access kiosks will ask travellers to declare if they are experiencing symptoms such as difficulty breathing, coughing or a fever,” Richmond said during a news conference at the airport Tuesday.
“They will also need to acknowledge that they are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days if they are coming form an international location.”
Enhanced measures include that border officers will meet any travellers who are found to be ill in-flight at the nearest gate upon arrival, where the passenger will be provided with a kit that includes a mask. They will then be escorted through the airport to ensure they are kept away from other passengers.
Anyone displaying signs of illness will be pulled aside by CBSA officers for further questioning.
On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that non-citizens would no longer be able to enter Canada, with the exception of U.S. citizens, diplomats and airline crews. In addition to YVR, the only other airports that will be accepting international flights until further notice are in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary.
The federal government said that limiting overseas flights to designated airports would allow border agents to better screen arrivals and ensure the passengers are getting information that they are to self-isolate for 14 days.
Airlines have been directed to deny boarding to anyone who shows signs of COVID-19 symptoms, including Canadians.
Richmond said YVR has places increased signage for arriving passengers about self-isolating post-arrival, increased hand sanitizer stations and developed a cleaning team focused on sanitizing heavily used areas.
— Vancouver International Airport (@yvrairport) March 17, 2020
More to come.