A WestJet plane takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Vancouver on Monday, May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS

A WestJet plane takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Vancouver on Monday, May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS

WestJet starts sharing passenger information for COVID-19

B.C. again intervenes in federal jurisdiction to contain virus

The B.C. government was first to deploy its own staff to airports enforce federal COVID-19 quarantine rules for people returning from outside Canada, and now it has persuaded one airline to share passenger lists for contract tracing.

After provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry went public about the lack of passenger contact information for coronavirus contact tracing when a passenger tests positive, WestJet has agreed to share its information after a meeting with B.C. officials.

WestJet is the first airline to join B.C. restaurants, bars and other businesses that collect customer contact information so public health can follow up if there is possible exposure to the virus on a given day.

“Throughout this pandemic, our contact tracers have had challenges reaching people who were exposed to the virus while flying, because of the limited information available on traditional flight manifests,” Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement Aug. 28. “While the federal government regulates the airline industry, WestJet representatives met with us earlier this month to hear from us directly on how they could help.

“The decision they announced today – to collect names and contact information for each of their passengers at check-in and share it with public health if a COVID-19 case is identified on a flight – is something we discussed at that meeting and will help us immensely.”

RELATED: B.C. starts demanding self-isolation plans at airport

RELATED: B.C. hands border, airport checks back to Ottawa

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control maintains an online list of flights where one or more passenger has tested positive, giving the dates and where available, the seat rows adjacent to the infected person.

The most recent domestic flights listed are Flair flight 8711 from Vancouver to Edmonton on Aug. 24, Air Canada flight 305 from Calgary to Kelowna on Aug. 18, and the same day, WestJet 3387 from Calgary to Kelowna.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria police are investigating after several vehicles were smashed and a basement was flooded along lower Cook Street March 2. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police investigating smashed vehicles, flooded basement on Cook Street

Police seeking witnesses, footage of several ‘mischief’ incidents

Hundreds of child care spaces will be available in Greater Victoria in the coming two years. (Unsplash)
More than 300 child care spaces opening in Greater Victoria in next two years

Province announces spaces in Victoria, Sooke, Saanich and North Saanich

This dead fir tree is one of many in Mount Douglas Park. Nine dead trees will be removed from the Douglas Creek site starting March 8 to make way for the construction of a new pedestrian bridge. (Photo courtesy Jason Clarke)
Nine dead, hazardous trees to be removed from Saanich park ahead of bridge construction

Felling begins March 8, minor trail interruptions expected in Mount Douglas Park

Victoria Police Department vehicles outside the headquarters building. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police investigating sudden death in Beacon Hill Park

Police, paramedics responded to a report of an unresponsive person early Wednesday

Victoria’s Swartz Bay terminal. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries offers cheaper, prepaid fare options

Ferry service preparing for busy terminals when travel restrictions are lifted

Province invests $2M in three Vancouver Island food hubs

Hub network provides shared-use processing facilities to small agri-businesses

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Beginning late Tuesday, anti-pipeline protesters blocked the intersection of Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver. (Instagram/Braidedwarriors)
Demonstrators block key access to Vancouver port over jail for pipeline protester

They group is protesting a 90-day jail sentence handed to a fellow anti-pipeline protester

Two Vancouver police officers were struck by a car when the driver learned he was being arrested for allegedly using a fraudulent credit card to pay for food. (Vancouver Police Department)
Driver being arrested for alleged food order fraud rams Vancouver police with car

Two officers are in stable condition, suffering with soft tissue injuries following the incident

A discarded blue surgical mask is shown hanging in a bush in Montreal, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
B.C. RMT suspended for not wearing a mask after confirmed by undercover clients

College of Massage Therapists has 5 open files, said suspension necessary to protect public

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Missing woman’s remains recovered after Vancouver Island boat fire

Remains of a 60-year-old woman recovered after Feb. 27 boat fire took her life

Most Read