Calgary International Airport is launching a pilot project which will allow some international travellers arriving in Alberta to undergo a Covid-19 test on arrival, allowing them to shorten their quarantine period to just a few days.

The project, which is a joint programme between the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada, will begin on November 2.

Currently, all travellers entering Canada have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine period. The border is closed to tourism and non-essential trips.

Starting from November 2, travellers who participate in the pilot programme  will undergo a Covid-19 test as soon as they arrive at Calgary airport. Travellers will then have to quarantine as they wait for the test results to come back.

Once the test comes back negative, they will then be allowed to leave their place of quarantine.

They will then have to get a second Covid-19 test on day six or seven after their arrival, at a community pharmacy participating in the pilot program.

“Participants will be closely monitored through daily symptoms checks. They will also be required to follow enhanced preventive health measures, such as wearing masks in public places and avoiding visiting high-risk groups,” reads a statement from the Government of Alberta.

Eligible candidates must be returning Canadian citizens, permanent residents or foreign nationals currently permitted entry into Canada, and those who have no  Covid-19 symptoms.

All returning international travellers who do not voluntarily participate in the pilot still have to serve the mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

“YYC Calgary International Airport is proud to be the first and only airport in Canada to have a government-approved testing pilot for arriving international passengers—which we hope will lead to reducing and one day eliminating the current 14-day self-isolation requirements,” said Bob Sartor, president and CEO, The Calgary Airport Authority.

“This innovative testing is the lifeline our airport and airline partners need to instill confidence in air travel,” he added.