As an actress and filmmaker, Carolyn Bridget Kennedy divides her time between Calgary and Los Angeles.

Jetsetting between the two cities may have seemed enviable pre-pandemic. Balancing her career and her personal life with her husband means adapting to the evolving air travel requirements.

“I think our life is going to be a lot of quarantining,” Kennedy said.

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Self-isolation and testing are going to have to become part of her routine. Effective Jan. 26, all travellers heading from Canada into the U.S. need proof of a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before boarding.

Carolyn Kennedy.

Jill Croteau/Global News

“It’s going to be extremely challenging for me. To go, I’m facing 10-day quarantine and with the new test 72 hours before you fly is added in. Every time I fly, I’m going to be waiting on that test to take that flight,” Kennedy said.

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Kennedy is used to the pandemic reality. She’s directed entire films over Zoom and has been vigilant when working on set locations.

“I was on a film set in November and there was testing beforehand and outdoor eating and we were all six-feet apart, all goggles and masks and I had a COVID parasol,” Kennedy said.

Ichor testing kit.

Jill Croteau/Global News

Ichor Blood Services is a private lab specimen collection company. Mike Kuzmickas, president of the Calgary-based business, said traveller demand for their COVID tests is huge.

“It’s become the international standard. Anywhere across the border, you’re going to need to show a test,” Kuzmickas said.

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Because Alberta Health Services doesn’t offer asymptomatic tests, Ichor saw a need for the business.

“Travellers come in on a Tuesday, get [the] test done, get results by Wednesday afternoon and catch a Thursday or Friday flight,” Kuzmickas said.

Ichor offers testing onsite at their locations and just launched a remote test you buy before you fly, priced at $225.

To avoid cheating, they’ve made the test virtual and it has to be verified by a witness online.

“The health-care system has a finite number of resources, and the government has to prioritize to test symptomatic,” Kuzmickas said. “If you’re just curious or you want to send your kid to a hockey camp, that’s something we can’t strap the public system with. You want to go to Hawaii. Taxpayers can’t be paying for that.”

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It’s not known how long these testing rules will be in place but health experts stress it’s not intended to be for your pandemic vacation. They are still recommending against non-essential travel.

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