Ambassador Bridge, Windsor-Detroit Tunnel to get onsite COVID-19 testing next month

The Ambassador Bridge and Windsor-Detroit Tunnel will have onsite COVID-19 testing available March 4.

As of Feb. 22, land borders travellers must take a test upon arrival

Onsite testing will be made available as of March 4 at the Ambassador Bridge and Windsor-Detroit Tunnel. (Carlos Osorio/Reuters)

The Ambassador Bridge and Windsor-Detroit Tunnel will have onsite COVID-19 testing available March 4. 

On Friday, the government said that come Feb. 22 travellers entering Canada at the land border will be required to take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival and toward the end of their 14-day quarantine. To support this, onsite testing will be made available at 16 Canadian land borders, two of which are located in Windsor. 

"I think the more testing we have, the better. It's a positive development that's for sure," said customs and immigration Union president of Local 18 Ken Turner. "Certainly [we] would have liked to have gotten it much sooner." 

It's unclear at this time how many rapid tests the region will be receiving. 

Windsor West MP Brian Masse has been advocating for rapid testing at the border for quite some time. He said this is good news for the officers at the border who want to get tested as it provides another layer of protection for them. 

"We're going to have to see how it goes, there's obviously issues related to how it's actually done, the procedure, the waiting, all those management things have to come into play and that can be evaluated as we go forward," he said. "The best thing is that we're actually starting to see this take place." 

In addition to these new requirements, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that as of Monday, non-essential travellers entering Canadian land borders will also need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival. Land travellers can also provide proof of a positive test taken 14 to 90 days prior to arrival. 

Essential workers, such as truckers, emergency service providers, and those in cross-border communities will be exempt from this requirement.

The government said it is working to supply all other ports of entry with test kits for travellers to take to meet the newest requirements.

Trudeau has said officers can't legally deny entry to Canadians, but those who show up without proof of a test could face fines of up to $3,000. Travellers who arrive at the border and are symptomatic or don't have a proper quarantine plan may be required to go to a designated quarantine facility. 

"With these additional COVID testing requirements and safety measures at the land border, our government is taking extra steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and its variants in border-communities," said Windsor-Tecumseh MP Irek Kusmierczyk in a news release. 

With files from Catharine Tunney


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