The Government of Canada plans to restart mandatory random Covid-19 testing of fully vaccinated international passengers at four major airports.

The testing is scheduled to commence on 19 July at Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto airports.

It aims to help the government track the spread of Covid-19 and detect new variants of the virus.

The government paused random testing for fully vaccinated passengers last month following complaints from airport authorities of extensive delays at airports. However, testing was kept mandatory for travellers who were not fully vaccinated.

As part of the latest move, fully and partially vaccinated or unvaccinated passengers will have to undergo testing outside the airports.

Passengers will be given the choice of making an in-person appointment at certain testing provider sites and pharmacies or booking a virtual appointment for a self-swab test.

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People chosen for random testing will be required to finish the test within a day of their arrival.

Those who are not fully vaccinated will have to perform a test on the first and eighth days of their compulsory 14-day quarantine.

If the test result is positive, the traveller must go for a ten-day isolation period, the Public Health Agency of Canada stated.

Canada Transport minister Omar Alghabra said: “As demand for travel increases across the world, today’s announcement marks an important step in our progress to streamline testing processes outside our airports while preventing the further spread of Covid-19.

“The Government of Canada will continue to protect travellers and employees and ensure our transportation system is safe, reliable and resilient for the long term.”