On-site rapid COVID-19 testing for airport workers now available as part of research study
Starting March 1, on-site COVID-19 testing will be available as part of a testing research study. The continued effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to workers, passengers and our surrounding communities, means we will be able to offer free, voluntary rapid COVID-19 testing on-site for airport workers and certain departing passengers.
The research study, supported in part by funding from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP), is designed to explore the effectiveness of antigen testing in a live environment, comparing it with the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. All airport workers will be able to participate, regardless of their role, employer or work location.
Information about testing for airport workers
- Airport workers will be able to participate on a voluntary basis, regardless of their role, employer or work location.
- Workers who have symptoms of COVID-19 will not be eligible for this study, and should contact their local public health unit for direction.
- There will be no charge for COVID-19.
- Pre-registration is required to access a test.
Employee volunteers needed for additional frequent testing study
All airport workers are invited to volunteer for a frequent testing study, where participants are antigen tested three times weekly for an eight-week period.
In the Workplace Antigen Testing Study, the GTAA is partnering with university-affiliated epidemiologists to study the effectiveness of frequent antigen testing to help identify COVID-19 faster in the workplace. This study will produce scientific data that will help inform health and safety policies about potential future workplace testing, for the airport and similar environments.
To get involved in the frequent testing study:
- Airport workers who volunteer will be tested 3 times per week for 8 weeks
- Testing will happen at the soon to be launched Terminal 1 testing centre (public side)
- All airport workers are eligible to participate in the study as long as they do not have symptoms of COVID-19
- The antigen testing process takes about 10/15 minutes and results are expected within 15/30 minutes
- Testing will be a nasal swab (lower nostril) and not a nasal pharyngeal swab (deep nasal) and will be administrated by a nurse
- We are recruiting 500 airport workers to volunteer in the study
- Testing appointments for the study will become available on March 8, 2021
Recruitment for the Workplace Antigen Study is happening now; employees can preregister to participate at torontopearson.com/workplacestudy.
Thank you to all interested employees for your contributions to further understanding of a science-based approach to COVID-19 testing protocols.
Promoting transparency: The Toronto Pearson COVID-19 Case Log
Developed in partnership with the GTAA and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) this voluntary airport-wide case log provides basic, anonymous information about COVID-19 cases in the Toronto Pearson workforce. Learn more.
Recognizing Black History Month together
February is Black History Month in North America, a chance to learn from, recognize and celebrate those who have gone before us and paved the way, and those making more equitable futures for all. Whether that’s former Ontario Lieutenant Governor Lincoln Alexander or Willie O’Ree, the first black Canadian to play in the NHL, we take time this month to reflect on their contributions to our country.
In 2020, we joined the voices condemning anti-Black racism, inequality and injustice. That conversation continues today, through this month, and beyond. At Toronto Pearson, we know that if there is one place that should reflect diversity and inclusion, it is an airport—the place that connects people and cultures from all over the world.
Along with our Board of Directors, we pledged that principles and practices that drive diversity and inclusion are present in every corner of our business and our airport. Every person passing through Toronto Pearson will be treated with respect and dignity, and everyone working here should feel that their breadth of human experience is valued. As an organization, we continue with our work towards these goals.
In 2020, I signed the Black North Initiative CEO pledge towards empowering impacted groups and removing systemic barriers in communities around Toronto Pearson. This pledge serves as our unwavering commitment to advancing diversity and equity within our organization and the larger community.
Later this month, you’ll learn more about how we’re standing by that commitment when we announce the recipients of the Propeller Project’s Nest Fund, to help build better futures for those impacted by systemic racism. Supporting and partnering with these organizations by providing them with funding to increase their capacity is one of the ways we can have measurable impact and make demonstrable change.
As we pass through the days and weeks of Black History Month, I encourage you to seek out resources for learning, to engage with people in your communities, and to reflect, recognize and celebrate the sacrifices and achievements that have come before us, and for those who continue to strive and struggle for respect, equality and safety.
- Deborah Flint, President & CEO, Greater Toronto Airports Authority
New COVID-19 testing for international arriving travellers
Starting February 1, 2021, the Government of Ontario requires all international travellers who are remaining in Ontario to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival. To learn more, visit the Government of Ontario's news release.
Stay-at-home order in Toronto and Peel Region is in effect
What this means for airport employees
- Toronto Pearson provides an essential service and will remain open to serve passengers.
- The stay-at-home order means that local police have the authority to enforce these measures and could stop people outside to ensure they are out for essential purposes. If you are reporting to or leaving your essential on-site job at the airport and police stop you in connection with enforcing the order and ask about your workplace, please tell them you are either on your way to or leaving work at Toronto Pearson (but only if that is factually correct) and then show them your RAIC as an official form of ID
Pearson Works! Online
Pearson Works! Online is a collaboration between the GTAA, the Toronto Airport Workers Council, and 20+ community services organizations committed to ready the industry’s workforce for post-COVID and beyond.
This virtual resource centre dedicated to support the employee and employer communities at Toronto Pearson. Any and all airport workers can access services, information and seminars on::
- Training and development opportunities;
- Access to community resources for employment, housing, mental health and food security;
- The latest information on available government supports.
Resources for Toronto Pearson workers impacted by COVID-19
With the unprecedented COVID-19 situation and the significant impact it has had on the entire aviation community, our priority remains the wellbeing of Toronto Pearson workers. While we have worked tirelessly to support the airport operation, there have been significant impacts to the Toronto Pearson workforce.
We know that information and resources are important in a time like this. We want to pull as many COVID-19 related resources together in one place for you. Learn more on our Employee Resources page.
GTAA and the Toronto Airport Worker’s Council release statement on joint efforts to keep workers and passengers safe
The GTAA and Toronto Airport Worker’s Council (TAWC) met to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on Toronto Pearson. Discussions focused on efforts to ensure the health and safety of workers who continue to service the airport, as well as workforce recovery strategies for airport workers and employers who have experienced significant difficulties of the virus.
Read the full statement and list of initiatives the GTAA and TAWC remain committed to working together on.
Temporary changes at Toronto Pearson
Update on transit providers at Toronto Pearson
In these unprecedented times, we are dedicated to serving everyone at Toronto Pearson the best way we can while also adhering to public health recommendations.
Please remember, it is mandatory to wear a non-medical mask or face covering while riding Brampton Transit, MiWay, TTC, GO Transit and UP Express. Face coverings are also required in the Terminals and all airport buildings.
Trains are currently operating on a revised schedule. For information about temporary service reductions, please visit our What's Happening page.
Transit providers at Toronto Pearson have reduced their service to the airport. Please contact your transit operator for the most up-to-date information about schedules.
Cash fares are now being accepted on the TTC; for GO Transit, please use PRESTO as no cash fares will be accepted.
Pass Permit Control Office
There are temporary changes to the security screening program at the Pass Permit Control Office. Learn more.
Parking Permit OfficeThe Parking Permit Office is not currently accepting walk-ins, but you can contact them by email at email@example.com or 416-776-2820 for assistance.
Value Park Garage and Value Park Lot closedEmployee parking access cards are not programmed for Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 Daily parking until further notice.
Shops and restaurants
At this time, some shops and restaurants at Toronto Pearson have reduced their hours or are temporarily closed. However, some locations remain open for our employees and passengers. You may notice that tables have been reconfigured to encourage physical distancing.
Useful links for airport workers
- As the lead agency responsible, PHAC is your best resource for the most up to date information on COVID-19.
- Stay in the know by following PHAC’s twitter feed.
- Sign up for the Inside Pearson newsletter for updates on information specific to you as an airport worker.
- Learn how we're helping to keep passengers safe.
- The Government of Ontario has a lot of useful information about protecting yourself and your loved ones against COVID-19, including the COVID-19 self-assessment check list.