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Coronavirus: Feds working on data-sharing deal with airlines for contact tracing

How to stop travellers from spreading COVID-19 when they are getting on a flight
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on the increasing number of travellers who are getting onto planes when they are ill with the COVID-19. Henry explains how airlines can help stop the spread with their policies and what travellers can also do.

As Ottawa and airlines talk about contact tracing, federal officials are trying to sort out how much information companies should provide, and how the data should flow.

Concerns about the level of detail airlines provide have been greatest in British Columbia, where the provincial health officer has lamented a lack of movement from federal officials.

Read more: COVID Alert app helpful even if it only works on newer smartphones, Tam says

Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Tuesday there could be improvements to the data that airlines provide as part of efforts to trace the potential spread of COVID-19.

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A federal government official tells The Canadian Press the issue revolves around information collected for domestic flights, with one of the hurdles being finding an agreement that satisfies all parties involved.

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Challenges of developing contact tracing app in Canada
Challenges of developing contact tracing app in Canada

The official wasn’t authorized to speak on the record because efforts are being headed by the Public Health Agency of Canada, which didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The federal health agency already requires airlines to provide information on travellers arriving on international flights who are subject to strict quarantine rules and Tam says there hasn’t been a confirmed case of in-flight transmission.