Despite guidelines for further screenings and travel restrictions, Vancouver International Airport is experiencing difficulties. Officials at the airport are reportedly waiting for further instructions from the Trudeau government as to how to handle screenings for coronavirus and recommendations for quarantine. Authorities at the airport took to Twitter to reveal the lack of action.
They write: "Hi, we're awaiting further direction from @GovCanHealth for additional measures. We’re ready to implement once we receive direction. There are a number of screening measures underway including signage about BC’s recommendation to self-isolate." They direct passengers to their site for more information.
The site offers "We are aware there are many questions around screening measures underway at Canada’s airports related to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Canadian airports, including YVR, follow directions provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). PHAC is the federal agency responsible for decisions and implementation of health-related screening at Canada’s ports of entry, including airports."
The information goes on to advice passengers that "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced further screening and detection processes will be implemented at all international airports within Canada, including limiting the number of airports permitted to accept international flights. We are in constant contact with the federal government and public health officials, and they will provide guidance on these new measures as soon as it’s available."
On Friday, the Trudeau government offered guidelines for individuals to avoid non-essential travel. Canada's chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said that her "advice is to postpone or cancel all non-essential travel outside of Canada. This means reconsidering your vacations, going to sporting and entertainment events and international conferences.”
While border crossings with the US were light in traffic, airports are experiencing a glut of travellers returning home in light of international travel restrictions. Airports across North America have been experiencing delays in processing passengers and performing additional screenings.
Canadians took to Twitter to express their concerns, while the airport waits for action from the government on how to proceed.