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New federal order expected to further reduce YVR passenger volumes

72-hour negative COVID-19 test applies to Canadian travellers as well.
Vancouver International Airport

Passengers arriving at Vancouver International Airport need to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test – and an airport representative said this will most likely further reduce the number of passengers arriving at YVR, already at 10 per cent of normal volumes.

As of Thursday, anyone arriving at YVR from outside of Canada had to have a negative COVID-19 test from the previous 72 hours (some countries have a slightly longer period) as mandated by Transport Canada.

These rules apply to Canadian citizens as well.

Alana Lawrence, YVR director of government relations, said the airport is working with government and health authorities to implement “ever-changing” travel restrictions.

“There’s a lot to be worked out in terms of logistics around (the new order),” Lawrence told the Richmond Community COVID-19 Task Force this week.

She added the airport is expecting this new regulation to decrease the number of passengers coming through.

Volumes are already at record lows because of the pandemic, and January tends to be a slower month as well, she said.  

Passengers who arrive, even with a negative test, will still have to quarantine for 14 days.

Those whose quarantine plan doesn’t satisfy officials will be taken to the federal quarantine facility.

The near-shutdown of international travel has had a ripple effects across the tourism industry.

Nancy Small, CEO of Tourism Richmond, told the task force that revenue was down an estimated 70 per cent in 2020 across the industry.

The tourism industry is estimated to be worth $20 billion in B.C. and it contributes, in a normal year, about $2 billion to the economy of Richmond.

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