New safety measures will be implemented as part of the relaunch strategy for Alberta. The provincial government is enacting the strongest public health measures in the country for international travellers to prevent the spread of travel-related COVID-19 cases.

These public health measures will be implemented in phases. During the first phase, travellers arriving at the Calgary and Edmonton international airports from outside Canada will be required to pass through a provincial checkpoint where they will need to complete an Alberta isolation plan and undergo a thermal scan. As part of their isolation plan, travellers must detail if they have an appropriate place to isolate for the required 14 days, how they will travel to their isolation location and their plans for getting essentials like food and medications. Provincial officials will help travellers access support to meet isolation requirements if necessary.

Premier Jason Kenney said, “Countries like Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea have been successful at mitigating the spread because they took immediate action securing their borders long before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. I’ve been clear it was irresponsible for Canada to wait so long to close our borders, especially from countries with high levels of infection. While Alberta does not control who can fly here, we will deploy a more rigorous approach in screening international arrivals. These measures are critical to ensure we continue to flatten the curve and keep Albertans safe.”

Government officials will be following up with travellers within three days to ensure they are following public health orders and have the information and support they need. The Calgary and Edmonton airports are also implementing enhanced cleaning protocols for arrival lounges and high-touch surfaces, placing hand sanitizer stations at every kiosk and touch screen machine.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said, “As the peak of the virus passes and the world begins to move forward, travel will slowly increase. Controlling the spread of COVID-19, especially travel-related cases, is a key step in protecting Albertans and continuing to flatten the curve. Protect yourselves and your loved ones by following all public health measures and practicing physical distancing and good hygiene.”

Phase two will involve establishing a similar provincial checkpoint at the Alberta-U.S. border crossing at Coutts, which is the busiest in the province. The checkpoint will help welcome people to the province while ensuring travellers are aware of Alberta’s COVID-19 protocols. Essential economic travel will not be disrupted. All travellers are also encouraged to download the ABTraceTogether app when they arrive in Alberta to help the tracing process.