Alberta COVID – Testing Pilot Program: No 14-day quarantine?


The Alberta COVID-19 Border Testing Pilot Program is a partnership between the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta. It aims to reduce the length of mandatory quarantine for travelers entering Canada from international destinations.

The program will also ensure Albertans stay protected from COVID-19 transmission. Travelers arriving to Alberta on domestic flights aren’t eligible.

The program gives eligible international travelers:

  • 2 COVID-19 tests
  • a shorter mandatory quarantine period

If you’re eligible, you’ll be able to enroll in the program upon arrival in Alberta at:

  • Coutts land border
  • Calgary International Airport

All travelers allowed to travel to Canada are allowed to participate in the pilot, whether they are Canadian citizens, permanent residents or foreign nationals.

According to the Canadian Press, after six weeks of the pilot, the number of positive coronavirus tests has remained reasonably low. As on December 10th, the province said that 14,382 travelers had taken tests. Just 1.4 per cent were positive with the first test, and 0.7 per cent after the second test.

Arriving travelers who opt to take the test on arrival will then be required to self-isolate for between 24 and 48 hours, until they receive their results. If the results are negative, they can break their quarantine. However, they must monitor their symptoms and get tested again after six or seven days.

This pilot is set to carry on for six months, or until 52,000 passengers choose to get tested upon arrival. Alberta is also looking to expand the project next year.

International travelers who wish to take the test can register to do so up to five days prior to their arrival. Those who choose not to take the test upon arrival will still be required by law to quarantine for 14 days. This means that they must stay indoors and self-isolate from others. They must also have a plan to access essential items such as food and medicine.

The Authority at the Calgary Airport hopes that the program will progress into eliminating the 14-day quarantine period wholly.