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Almost blind pensioner misses flight home to Canada due to Covid-19 test result delays

An Air Canada flight (File photograph)

An almost blind pensioner was forced to fork out an extra $700 to get home to Canada after she missed her flight because of coronavirus test result delays.

The woman was able to rebook on yesterday’s Air Canada flight to Toronto — but others were less fortunate and one passenger estimated up to 30 people were unable to get on the flight because their test results had not come through.

A Canadian expatriate who lives in Warwick said his mother, who has severe sight problems, was left with a “very stressful” wait after an unsuccessful attempt to get home on Thursday.

She had come to the island to meet her two young grandchildren for the first time.

The man, who asked not to be named, said: “At no point were we told the test might be delayed. We were told her test would be ready in two days’ time.”

He added that e-mails had generated an automatic reply with advice to call the Covid-19 number.

But he said he had given up on the hotline after a wait of almost two hours.

Canada has required a clear PCR test for inbound travellers, including residents, since last month.

The man said he had taken his mother to the Perot Post Office in Hamilton on Tuesday for an 11am test — unaware that test returns had fallen behind schedule.

He said the family had been “operating under the previous regime” when the island had been able to turn around test results fast.

The man added: “It was definitely stressful. She’s a natural worrier and her loss of vision is a relatively new thing.”

He said her PCR test result arrived at 10.50pm on Thursday, but her WestJet flight to Toronto had left four hours earlier.

The family booked a $200 fast-track private test at the Helix laboratory and paid an extra $500 ticket for yesterday’s Air Canada flight.

A spokeswoman for Skyport, the airport operators, confirmed yesterday that other passengers had been unable to board the Toronto flight “due to not having the requisite test results”.

Canada requires a clear PCR test inside 72 hours of arrival.

A woman who contacted The Royal Gazette said about 30 people were turned away because they had not got the results of Wednesday morning tests by yesterday.

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Published January 08, 2022 at 7:53 am (Updated January 08, 2022 at 7:53 am)

Almost blind pensioner misses flight home to Canada due to Covid-19 test result delays

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