Register for pilot program

Complete the application form to register to participate in the Alberta COVID-19 Border Testing Pilot Program up to 5 days before you plan to arrive.

Complete the form to register

Overview

Eligible international travellers returning to Alberta at select airport and border crossings can participate in the Alberta COVID-19 Border Testing Pilot Program.

  • Participants will be allowed to quarantine for less time if they test negative for COVID-19 and commit to following specific public health and testing measures.
  • All other returning international travellers must legally quarantine for 14 days after arrival.

The pilot is a first of its kind partnership with the Government and Canada and industry to safely explore ways to reduce the length of quarantine for travellers while still protecting Albertans from COVID-19.

  • Participants will be closely monitored.
  • Pilot program will help inform decisions on new measures for international travel.
  • Tests processed as part of the pilot program will not affect public testing timelines.

Eligible locations

At this time, the pilot program is only available to international travellers arriving directly to the following locations:

  • Coutts land border crossing (subject to road conditions)
  • Calgary International Airport (passengers arriving from another Canadian airport are not eligible)

The pilot program may be expanded to other locations in the future.

Eligible travellers

Eligible candidates

  • Returning Canadian citizens or permanent residents
  • Foreign nationals currently permitted entry into Canada (for example, immediate and extended family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents)
  • Travellers exempt from 14-day quarantine, including essential service workers

Ineligible candidates

  • Travellers arriving on domestic flights into Calgary International Airport (for example, if you fly from Mexico to Toronto and then to Calgary, you are not eligible to participate)
  • Non-exempt travellers proceeding to other provinces (participants must stay in Alberta for 14 days after entering Canada, unless they are departing the country directly from Alberta prior to the end of 14 days)
  • Travellers who:
    • have symptoms of COVID-19 at the time of entry to Canada
    • have been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the last 14 days
    • do not have an acceptable quarantine plan and/or need to quarantine at a federal quarantine site (does not apply to exempt travellers)

Foreign nationals continue to be restricted from entering Canada for optional or discretionary purposes, unless they are a family member or have an exemption.

How to participate

Step 1. Enroll at the border

  • If you are interested in the pilot, begin completing the online registration form prior to arrival at customs.
  • Proceed to the Canadian Border Service Agency to clear customs and determine eligibility.
  • Once you’re confirmed to be eligible, proceed to the enrollment booth with your completed online form to verify your information.
  • Take a COVID-19 test on-site.
    • Testing is only available to individuals 4 years old and older. Children under the age of 4 can participate in the pilot program if they follow all other preventative measures.

Step 2. Quarantine and wait for your test result

  • Remain in quarantine until you get an a text message or email from Alberta Health Services with your test result (approximately 48 hours). If you choose to receive your rest result by email, the message will be encrypted for your privacy. Learn more about viewing encrypted test results.
    • If the test comes back positive - isolate and follow all mandatory restrictions and cooperate with contact tracers to identify close contacts.
    • If the test comes back negative - leave quarantine and follow all required preventative measures, including daily check-ins and taking a second COVID-19 test. You must call a participating pharmacy to book an appointment to obtain a second swab on the sixth or seventh day.
    • If the test comes back indeterminate - take a re-test or remain in quarantine for the full 14 days. Re-tests can be scheduled by completing the online form.

Step 3. Follow preventative measures

After leaving quarantine, you must follow public health measures until 14 days have passed since your entry to Canada.

  • Stay in Alberta
  • Keep a list of any close contacts
  • Watch for symptoms and complete the daily check-ins. If symptoms develop:
  • Follow all enhanced public health measures currently in effect across Alberta
  • Practice physical distancing at all times
  • Wear a mask in public and private:
    • indoor settings outside of the home
    • outdoor settings when physical distancing is not possible

In addition to following these preventative measures, it is strongly encouraged that pilot participants download and use Alberta’s mobile contact tracing app ABTraceTogether when out in public.

Step 4: Take a second test on day 6 or 7

Step 5: Provide feedback

  • You will be sent a survey. Participation is optional but is encouraged as it will help inform changes to public health measures.

After 14 days, you may freely leave Alberta and are no longer required to submit daily reports.

Conditions and restrictions

All participants must:

  • submit daily symptom reports (online or by phone)
  • keep a list of any close contacts for the duration of the pilot program
    • if a participant tests positive, the list must be provided to public health officials
  • book a second test on day 6 or 7 at a participating Shoppers Drug Mart
  • follow preventative measures throughout the 14-day period
  • avoid prohibited settings during the 14-day period

In addition to following these preventative measures, it is strongly encouraged that pilot participants download and use Alberta’s mobile contact tracing app ABTraceTogether when out in public.

Restrictions for specific settings

Participants are prohibited from certain settings during the course of the pilot.

  • School and child care

    Attendees, students and staff cannot go back to these settings until they have their second test and have received a negative result:

    • Child care programs (for example daycare, out of school care)
    • K to 12 schools
    • Post-secondary institutions

     

  • Health care settings

    Pilot participants cannot work at or visit any setting where health care services are provided and there are vulnerable people at risk for severe disease for 14 days. This includes:

    • all outpatient clinics
    • acute care
    • continuing care
    • long term care
    • seniors lodges
  • Workplaces
    • Individuals may only return to work with the permission of the employer and if the employer has implemented COVID-19 measures in accordance with Alberta’s guidelines or direction from provincial or local public health; and provided the worker adheres to the workplace’s COVID-19 public health measures.
    • Individuals cannot return to work for 14 days where vulnerable populations are present as identified above (continuing care, health care, and other clinical settings).
    • Individuals cannot return to high-risk workplaces for 14 days. These include:
      • correctional facilities
      • homeless shelters or temporary housing facilities
      • food processing facilities (for example, meat packing plants)
      • warehouses, distribution facilities (including distribution facilities supporting grocery stores), and assembly line manufacturing facilities (but does not include other industrial production sites where COVID-19 prevention measures are implemented and adhered to, for example, petrochemical production facilities)
    • Work camps (but does not include associated work sites such as petrochemical facilities).
  • Gatherings

    Mandatory restrictions are in effect for Alberta. Indoor social gatherings are currently prohibited, in addition to a number of business and service restrictions.

    For more information, see enhanced public health measures.

  • Group living

    Pilot participants cannot attend or live in group living settings such as homeless shelters, work camps, group homes, student dormitories for 14 days.

Why we’re doing it

Safely exploring ways to resume travel is an important step in Alberta’s economic recovery. The pilot program will help us collect critical information that will ensure changes to public health measures are informed by strong scientific evidence. Strong measures will be kept in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Contact

Connect with the International Border Testing Pilot Program:

Email: [email protected]