Transport Canada is warning Canadians planning on visiting Jamaica that they may be in for “significant delays” when returning home because they may not be able to get a COVID-19 test before boarding their flight.
As of Jan. 7, anyone 5 years old and up travelling to Canada, regardless of citizenship, must provide proof of a negative test when boarding a flight to the country. Results must be no more than 72 hours old.
Exceptions were made for 24 countries/territories, including Jamaica, where tests can be done within 96 hours of departure.
However, the agency’s latest warning suggests it may not be possible to take a test in Jamaica for quite some time.
A CityNews viewer called in from Jamaica saying he expected to fly home on Jan. 17, but the first available date for a COVID-19 test in Montego Bay is not until mid-February.
We are advising Canadians planning to travel to #Jamaica to expect significant delays to return to #Canada due to difficulties experienced in getting a #COVID19 test prior to boarding a flight. Learn more: https://t.co/gi6RJaknoz
— Transport Canada (@Transport_gc) January 10, 2021
On their website, Transport Canada says in order to deal with a shortage of tests in that country, travellers coming from Jamaica who were not able to take a COVID-19 test prior to boarding may still be allowed to travel if they “consent in advance to take a COVID-19 test at the Toronto Pearson International airport immediately upon their arrival in Canada.”
The temporary measure is only valid for flights coming in to Pearson International Airport and is subject to daily volume limits. Travellers using this option will also “be subject to other measures as deemed suitable by a Public Health Quarantine Officer.” The exemption went into effect Sunday and will last until Jan. 18
Travellers from Haiti and Saint Pierre et Miquelon do not need to present a negative COVID-19 test due to lack of testing facilities, but they will have a choice to either take a test upon landing or quarantine at a federal facility.
The agency continues to caution Canadians against non-essential travel as COVID-19 cases continue to spike across the country.
This content was originally published here.