YVR ready for travelers’ return

From City News 1130 – link to source story

BY NIKITHA MARTINS, TAMARA SLOBOGEAN AND RIA RENOUF | Jun 16, 2021

(Hana Mae Nassar, NEWS 1130 Photo)SUMMARY

  • YVR says it’s important to know what’s in store for your post-pandemic journey
  • From on-site COVID testing, to discussions around vaccine passports, YVR says they will be ready

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Staff have been called back, and there’s excitement in the air. YVR says it is ready for more travellers once again as travel restrictions continue to ease up.

Preparations are well underway for the return of passengers at the airport, but Robyn McVicker, VP of Passenger Journey with YVR, says as we think about exploring the world beyond our backyard, it’s essential to know what you need to leave and come back to Canada.

“We want people to really think about preparing in advance. So do you have the right documentation? If you haven’t travelled in a year and a half, is your passport still valid? But then also understanding what are the requirements that are needed for you to come back into Canada? And what are the requirements that are needed for you to go to another place, whether it’s in Canada or in another country,” she tells CityNews.

Whether you are planning to travel to another province or internationally, McVicer stresses you need to understand COVID travel procedures coming and going.

“Second thing we want people to think about is a little bit of patience. The reality is, people are still going to have masks in the airport. And we know that the lines will look a little bit longer because of physical distancing. So just have patience. Know that we got you.”

McVicker adds, there will also be COVID-19 testing available in the airport.

A COVID testing site is available on Sea Island, but for people with COVID symptoms, YVR says “This site is not for private testing related to travel or work purposes nor is it available for walk-ins.”

Private testing is available in the International Terminal Building, Level 3, near the International Food Court.

This is for “Ticketed passengers travelling to the Netherlands, Germany, the United States or other countries that accept this test who must take a rapid test shortly before departure,” YVR’s site reads.

Ultima Vancouver Airport Medical Clinic will provide rapid antigen testing and LifeLabs has opened a pre-departure testing facility under its FlyClear program.

YVR working on ‘safe and effortless’ travel

But there is still long way to go until we have a full understanding of what air travel is going to look like.

“We don’t all know what the next phase of reopening is going to look like. So it is a challenge,” she says, adding, “But what I can tell you is that we are working very closely with the CBSA — the Canada Border Services Agency, we’re working very closely with Public Health Agency of Canada, and Transport Canada, and the airlines to ensure we’re ready.

“I can guarantee you that conversations are happening day in and night in on making sure that we are aligned …The passenger needs a cohesive, effortless experience to the airport. And it’s up to us to make sure that we work together to deliver that.”

As Ottawa feds continues talk with provinces and territories about creating some type of “passport” containing proof of vaccination against COVID-19, McVicker says YVR, “will be ready.”

“Whether it’s starting off with a paper copy, or whether it goes straight to digital. We know that there are federal agencies and provincial agencies that are working together to figure out what the right mechanism is from our end of things,” she says.

Details about when the Canada-U.S. border will reopen are expected in the coming days.