Passengers on Canadian North jets face new screening questions

COVID-19 screening now required by Nunavut and Nunavik

If you are planning to take any Canadian North flights into Nunavut or Nunavik, be prepared to answer questions about your health, which are intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (File photo)

By Jane George

If you’re planning to take any Canadian North Boeing 737 flights heading into Nunavut or Nunavik, be prepared to answer questions about your health before you are allowed to board the aircraft.

The Makivik Corp.-owned airline earlier this week announced reductions in its scheduled northern flights due to a decline in passenger travel resulting from COVID-19.

Now, if you are travelling to Nunavut or Nunavik, mandatory directives in place require Canadian North to screen passengers for the risk of infection before they travel.

All passengers will be asked the same questions at check-in and may be refused permission to board, depending on their answers.

If you are flying to Kuujjuaq on Canadian North, you will have to answer these questions set by the Director of Public Health for Nunavik:

1) Have you travelled outside Canada in the past 14 days? YES / NO

2) Have you been in contact with anyone in the last 14 days who was known to have COVID-19? YES / NO

3) Have you shown any symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, coughing and shortness of breath) in the last 24 hours? YES / NO

If you answer YES to questions 1 or 2, you will be refused check-in and will be referred to a Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services agent.

If you answer YES to question 3 only, you must be refused check-in and will not be able to travel until your symptoms clear so you can answer the question as NO.

On flights departing from Ottawa, Edmonton, Yellowknife and Iqaluit, “in response to ongoing risks associated with COVID-19 and in accordance with guidance from northern public health authorities,” the following questions must be answered by all passengers checking in for Canadian North flights:

1) Have you travelled outside Canada in the past 14 days or have you been in contact with anyone in the last 14 days who was known to have COVID-19? YES / NO

2) Have you shown any symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, coughing and shortness of breath) in the last 24 hours? YES / NO

If you answer YES to both questions 1 and 2, you must be refused check-in and will not be able to travel until your symptoms clear to enable you to answer question 2 as NO.

If you present a medical certificate to prove that your symptoms are not related to COVID-19, you will then be permitted to travel.

Also, starting Saturday, March 21, you will only be served a pre-packaged sandwich or snack on applicable flights.

“We will also continue to provide water to our passengers,” Canadian North said.

Although Air Inuit recently announced big reductions to its flight schedule, which came into effect on Sunday, March 22, there is no information yet from the airline about screening measures.

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