Statement from John Ossowski, President of the Canada Border Services Agency

Statement

OTTAWA – March 18, 2020 – Today, John Ossowski, President of the Canada Border Services Agency issued the following statement:

“Canadians around the world are heeding advice to return home, and, as a result, some travellers may be experiencing increased wait times at some airports and land entry points. If you are still outside of Canada and planning to return by land, border wait times are available online or on our app and could help you plan your return.

In the event that you experience border wait times, this would be attributable to increased traveller volumes and enhanced screening measures that have been put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Canada. These procedures are one of the many actions taken as part of a multilayered response from the Government of Canada to stem the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

The Canada Border Services Agency continues to adjust its response as needed, and is mobilizing additional officers and resources to handle the sudden influx of travellers to Canada. We are working with our partners, such as the airport authorities, to ensure that travellers arriving at airports are efficiently processed without overcrowding and are receiving information from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

At airports in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, more officers have been deployed throughout the arrivals and baggage areas to observe and interact with travellers so as to better ascertain if they may be ill and to make sure they are aware of the guidance from PHAC to self-isolate.

The CBSA will do all it can to facilitate traveller traffic while also recognizing that enhanced screening measures are necessary.”   

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