Ford announces 'game changer' COVID-19 testing program for international travellersThe Ontario government has launched a voluntary and free COVID-19 testing program for international travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Premier Doug Ford announced the new testing program on Wednesday, which he calls as a “game changer” in regards to the early detection of COVID-19 in people arriving into the province from overseas.

“This is a critical step,” Ford said at the airport on Wednesday. “Travellers coming into Pearson will be able to take a free and voluntary test.”

Travellers who receive a negative COVID-19 test will still be required to self-isolate for 14 days, but Ford said he is “actively working to further enhance the program.”

Ontario’s Minister of Health Christine Elliott said the next stage of the program would be modifying the 14-day quarantine period for people who test negative.

According to the government, eligible travellers will be able to pre-register for the program or proceed to get tested when they arrive at the airport. Those who chose to participate in the program will be given a test that will be self-administered with the guidance of a health-care provider.

The test results will be reported within 48 hours and local public health units will follow up on all positive tests.

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To reduce 14-days quarantine will certainly help with travellers in coming months, but it should still be done cautiously to prevent any further spreading of COVID-19. This measure is to assist essential service travellers, not for vacationers. -Jennifer