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Canadians and permanent residents, expect increased COVID-19 screenings at Vancouver airport

Last Updated Mar 17, 2020 at 7:07 pm PDT

FILE - YVR is one of four spots nationwide where international flights will able to land. (Hana Mae Nassar, NEWS 1130 Photo)

YVR is one of four airports in Canada accepting international flights

Any confusion among travellers has been resolved: airport CEO

He says increased screening will not immediately include temperature checks

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Vancouver International Airport has ramped up screening processes as Canadian and permanent residents return from their travels amid the coronavirus outbreak.

YVR is one of four airports in Canada where international flights are able to land.

Craig Richmond, CEO of the Vancouver airport, says he realizes there has been some confusion as to the airport’s procedures, but that has since been resolved.

“Yes, there was dizziness for a couple of days between what was being said provincially and federally,” he said. “They got the direction out on Sunday, and then we were able to implement right away on Monday morning.”

Increased screening will not immediately include temperature checks, for the time being, Richmond adds.

Canadian Border and Services Agency officers have been trained to look for and approach people suspected of exhibiting coronavirus symptoms. Those people can then be taken to a public health officer for examination, Richmond says.

People coming back from trips will need to declare if they are experiencing symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, or fever, he adds.

Travellers will also need to acknowledge they have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days if they are arriving from an international location.

Richmond urges families to limit the number of people who come to the airport to greet relatives or see them off, as a way of reducing risk.

On Tuesday, the head of the Canadian Airports Council, Daniel-Robert Gooch, said many major airlines will be operating at half capacity by next month amid border closures and slashed flight schedules, causing airport fees to dry up.