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Canada eases Covid restrictions for remainder of June

To ease the long wait times travelers have experienced in recent weeks, Canada is suspending random Covid-19 testing at all of its airports for the remainder of June, a government statement said Friday.

Random testing has been accused by some industry officials of adding to already long wait times at airports. Toronto’s Pearson Airport has had planes stuck at the gates and security lines lasting several hours due to a lack of staff.

Random testing will be paused from Saturday and will resume “offsite” on July 1, according to the statement.

The government “recognizes the impact that significant wait times at some Canadian airports are having on travellers,” the statement said, adding that it would continue to “implement solutions to reduce delays as we approach high summer season”.

The country’s largest carrier, Air Canada, canceled nearly 10% of Pearson’s flights in the first week of June, according to data from Cirium, an aviation analytics firm.

Suzanne Acton-Gervais, acting president of the National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC), which represents Air Canada and privately held WestJet Airlines, said the move “will improve conditions at Canada’s airports and reduce complexity for The travellers”.

Airlines around the world that have faced a travel crisis during the pandemic are counting on a strong summer. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has hired 865 screening officers since April to help manage a surge in travellers.

Canada’s opposition Conservative Party said Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government was slow to act on airport congestion.

[with inputs from agencies]

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Post expires at 7:49am on Tuesday June 21st, 2022