Canada lifted its testing restrictions to cross its borders on Friday, so pre-entry COVID tests are no longer required for fully vaccinated visitors entering the country by air, land, or water. If you’re heading north, Canada is not requiring visitors a COVID test, but travelers still need to fill out information online or on the ArriveCAN app before crossing the border.
Pre-entry test results are required for Partially vaccinated and unvaccinated children five years and older, even if they are traveling with a fully vaccinated adult. No test requirements are needed for children under five years of age, regardless of vaccination status.
As Canada’s federal government slackens the international travel testing requirements, more Canadians are ready to jet off. While a majority of Canadians are anxious about traveling, some are ready to travel abroad.
Pre-entry testing requirements were removed for fully vaccinated Canadians, but there are pandemic-related travel rules that are still in effect.
Pre-Entry COVID-19 Test Not Required
Concerning monitoring for new, emerging COVID-19 variants, airport passengers are still subjected to mandatory random PCR testing, but they are not required to isolate while waiting for the results.
Tourism and travel organizations, including the mayors of border towns, have been calling for the elimination of testing requirements when announced by the federal government in March. But, Canada’s federal officials will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation in the country and abroad and change travel requirements.
Proof of Vaccination Still Needed to Enter Canada
Besides lifting the pre-entry test requirements, the requirement to be fully vaccinated is still in effect, with no indication of lifting the policy at this time. Travelers have to show proof of vaccination and must submit their information in the ArriveCAN 72 hours before boarding.
Arriving travelers to Canada without completing their submission to the ArriveCAN app may have to test and quarantine for 14 days regardless of vaccination status.
Travelers Who Are Not Fully Vaccinated
Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travelers allowed to travel to Canada must follow pre-entry testing requirements.
Unless otherwise indicated, negative pre-entry test results must be available for not fully vaccinated travelers age five or older taken no more than 72 hours before crossing at a land border or flight schedule.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers may provide positive molecular tests taken no more than 180 days or at least 10 days before scheduled flight departure. Positive antigen results are not accepted.
The Canadian government recommends completing the COVID-19 test with additional recommendations 14 days before international travel.
Before Traveling to Canada
Before traveling, check the COVID-19 testing and vaccination requirements recommended by the Canadian government.
For instance, air travelers two years or older departing to the U.S. from a foreign country are still required to show a negative COVID-19 antigen test regardless of their vaccination status taken the day before their departure.
Travelers should monitor the COVID-19 situation of their destination before traveling because infections and public health requirements there might change.
Antigen tests are still required for cruise passengers to board the ship no more than one day before departure schedule, and proof of vaccination before getting off the ship. The government will continue to caution travelers that the virus can spread easily between people in close quarters. The chances of being infected are very high even on fully vaccinated passengers.
Written by Janet Grace Ortigas
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
KOMO News: Hundreds line up to cross border after Canada lifts COVID-19 testing restrictions; by Nick Popham
Travel GC CA: COVID-19 testing for travellers – Travel restrictions in Canada
CTV News: Here are Canada’s rules for fully vaccinated travellers as of April 1; Brooklyn Neustaeter
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Inset Image Courtesy of Virginia Guard Public Affairs’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License