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Border agency adds screening questions after complaints about airport disarray

BY , Mar 16, 2020 5:18 PM - REPORT AN ERROR

Travellers are seen at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Friday, March 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

The Canada Border Services Agency says it is adding new screening questions for travellers arriving in Canada, asking whether they have symptoms of COVID-19.

The agency took heat all weekend for apparent disarray at entry points, especially airports.

While the federal government wants people returning to Canada from abroad to stay in isolation for 14 days, some travellers reported customs officials weren't routinely providing the direction to new arrivals.

The union representing Canada's border officers, which is set to meet with the agency later today, also raised concerns last week about a lack of information and guidance to its members, one of whom has tested positive for COVID-19.

The border-services agency says automated questionnaires administered by touchscreens at entry points are now asking whether people have coughs, difficulty breathing or a feeling of feverishness.

And they'll require arrivals to acknowledge that they're being asked to self-isolate for two weeks to keep COVID-19 from spreading.

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