Premier Rankin must test at airport

PC leader Tim Houston doesn’t understand why Premier Rankin continues to refuse to implement rapid testing at the airport.

Despite the closure of our borders - an acknowledgment that they are a source of the virus coming into Nova Scotia - the Premier still would not commit to rapid testing at the Halifax airport during today’s COVID. Dr. Robert Strang indicated last week that discussions were ongoing around airport testing, yet Nova Scotia has gone months without this extra line of defence.

“At today’s press conference we heard the Liberals say they are tightening up our land border to ensure travellers aren’t importing more variants into the province. Why do they continue to ignore the airport” asks Houston? “It was noted in the same press conference that temporary foreign workers receive a rapid test at the airport and that some cases were initially identified on entry. It is indefensible that the same logic is not applied to every traveller.”

In an article published in April, epidemiologist Dr. Lisa Barrett suggested that the province needs to offer more ways to test people, including testing at airports.

“Dr. Barrett and her team have successfully changed the culture around getting tested in this province, but government seems to have failed to understand the reason for the testing. If they got it, they would have started airport testing months ago,” says Houston.

Just yesterday, the Halifax Stanfield International Airport released their 2020 Annual Report, in which they renewed their call for testing at the airport.

“Why aren’t we testing at airports? Stanfield Airport has been asking for this, yet the Premier is not listening and refuses to shut the door the variant is walking through,” says Houston.

Earlier this week, the PC Caucus discovered that half a million rapid tests were sitting on a shelf. Those tests could be immediately deployed to the airport.