As the novel coronavirus spreads across the globe, governments and businesses have implemented stringent measures in an attempt to limit the virus’ spread.
Last week, Emirates became the first airline to conduct on-site rapid COVID-19 blood tests for passengers ahead of boarding, causing some to question if this is a practice we can expect to see elsewhere.
In a press release, the airline said the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) conducted “quick blood tests,” on passengers before they departed on a flight from Dubai to Tunisia.
According to Emirates, the tests were conducted at a group-check in an area of Dubai International Airport, and results from the test were available within 10 minutes.
Adel Al Redha, Emirates COO, said the testing process went “smoothly,” and that the airline was “working on plans to scale up testing capabilities in the future and to extend it to other flights.”
“This will enable us to conduct on-site tests and provide immediate confirmation for Emirates passengers travelling to countries that require COVID-19 test certificates,” Al Redha said in the release.
Could blood tests before flights become the new normal? Are Canadian airlines considering implementing similar measures?
Here’s a look at what could happen.
In an email to Global News, WestJet spokesperson Morgan Bell said this is not something the airline is considering at this time.
But, Bell said WestJet has implemented a number of other measures amid the outbreak including enforcing seat distancing, aircraft cleaning and sanitation and requiring all passengers to wear masks during flights.
She said WestJet is also enforcing physical distancing for crew members and the public.
“WestJet remains focused on the health and safety of WestJetters and guests,” Bell wrote in the email.