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Rapid testing program for international travellers in Alberta begins

Last Updated Nov 3, 2020 at 7:20 am MDT

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – The new federal/provincial pilot project to test international travellers for COVID-19 starts Monday in Alberta.

Rapid testing will be offered to people arriving to the country through the Calgary International Airport or the Coutts Border Crossing.

Those who test negative and commit to another test in six or seven days after arrival will have their two-week quarantine drastically reduced to as little as two days.

If the traveller though, starts showing symptoms or that second test comes back positive, they need to immediately go back into isolation.

WATCH: New COVID-19 testing program for international travellers arriving in Alberta

“Only about three per cent of the active cases in Alberta have been acquired through travel,” said Premier Jason Kenney. “We must find ways to bring back safe travel if we’re ever going to get the economy firing again on all cylinders.”

Kenney has said the move would help the struggling service, tourism and travel industries.

However, a word of caution is coming from a professor of medicine at McMaster University who said the virus can live in someone for several days before it shows up on a test and the person can infect others during that time.

Zain Chagla said anyone contracting COVID-19 in the final days of travel could pass the first test and be out in the community before the infection is caught by the second test.