Free Covid-19 Tests For International Arrivals At Toronto’s Pearson Airport T1 Through Early October 2020

Air Canada, McMaster HealtLabs, and Greater Toronto Airports Authority yesterday launched a month-long study at YYZ’s Terminal 1.

All international passengers can get a free Covid-19 test, and they are asked then to take samples at 7 and 14 days and send them to a laboratory for processing. This study is entirely voluntary, and the goal is to find out the rate of infected incoming passengers and how many may test negative first, but then positive 7 to 14 days later.

Here are two videos that Air Canada has released about the process:

Here’s a more comprehensive press release:

Download (PDF, 302KB)


It is certainly interesting to see if there are many that first test negative (at the time of arrival), but then positive at 7 or 14 days later (could have infected either during travel or after).

The tests that you do at the airport immediately upon arrival won’t catch any cases that were the result of the travel itself because of the incubation period.

There is very little demand for international travel if you need to quarantine for an extensive period at either or both ends. These airport Covid-19 tests certainly can help, but I doubt that you could test planeload of passengers that arrive simultaneously (several A380’s with hundreds of passengers in each).

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