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Air Canada partners with Shoppers Drug Mart to offer pre-travel COVID-19 tests

This test will be available for customers flying to any destination requiring a negative COVID-19 test
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Air Canada announced Wednesday it is suspending direct flights from Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal airports to Beijing and Shanghai.

Air Canada has announced that it is collaborating with Shoppers Drug Mart to provide its customers with a pre-departure coronavirus (COVID-19) tests to comply with international travel requirements.

Beginning Dec. 7, eligible Air Canada customers can book and purchase a COVID-19 RT-PCR test at participating Shoppers Drug Mart locations in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. Results are typically available within 24 to 48 hours, explains a news release.

"Many countries now require a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test and we are pleased to facilitate this process for our customers, making their travel experience easier and safer by recommending the RT-PCR test at select Shoppers Drug Mart locations. We believe that testing is one of the keys to protecting employees and customers, and an important step to safely reopen travel around the world, easing travel restrictions by providing alternative testing solutions in managing risk," said Dr. Jim Chung, Air Canada's Chief Medical Officer.

"Our stores and pharmacy teams are a convenient, trusted resource for Canadians. We want to continue to be a part of the solution as the country looks for ways to manage COVID-19. We're pleased to work with Air Canada to make COVID-19 RT-PCR tests accessible to travellers, and to help customers plan their travel safely and with confidence," said Ashesh Desai, Executive Vice President, Pharmacy at Shoppers Drug Mart.

This test will be available for customers flying to any destination requiring a negative COVID-19 test, including Hawaii and the Caribbean (namely, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Antigua, Barbuda and St-Lucia).

Flying to Hawaii with Air Canada

Canadians are now eligible to be exempt from Hawaii's mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival in the Hawaiian Islands via a pre-travel testing process.

Air Canada's services to Hawaii from Vancouver begins on Dec. 17 with four weekly flights to Maui and three weekly flights to Honolulu. From Calgary, flights to Maui begin Dec. 18 and are planned to ramp up to multiple times a week.

Other testing options are also offered for customers who are flying to Hawaii, including travellers from Quebec. For more details on the list of approved testing entities by the Hawaiian Government, visit here.

Now, new eligible round-trip international bookings originating in Canada booked before Nov. 30, 2020 will automatically include complimentary Manulife COVID-19 medical and quarantine insurance. This insurance covers Canadian residents when travelling to every destination the airline flies to, outside of Canada, on a booking made with Air Canada, for travel completed by until Apr. 12, 2021.

Important Pandemic Considerations

Note: Health Canada does not advise you to get a COVID-19 test if you do not have symptoms of the virus. Since a negative result is required for the Hawaiian pre-testing program, this would go against public health advice.

The Government of Canada also warns against travel outside of the country. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments that have opened their borders to tourists could impose strict travel restrictions suddenly, which could make it difficult for you to return home.

Under a measure from the Government of British Columbia, all arriving passengers from outside Canada, regardless of their final destination, are required to submit a self-isolation plan. Learn more about the Province's self-isolation plan requirement here. The plan can be submitted online here or at the Self-Assessment Tool, through the BC COVID-19 Support App, or in-person on arrival at YVR. It must show that returning passengers have supports in place to safely self-isolate for 14 days.