This week, the federal government officially announced that they will be removing the pre-arrival COVID-19 testing requirement for fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada at airports and land border crossings effective April 1, 2022. This decision comes after months of extensive lobbying by CSA officials to lift the mandatory testing requirement for vaccinated Canadian travellers returning home.
In May 2021, the federal government’s own COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel recommended that the federal government eliminate pre-arrival testing for fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada as travellers who have been vaccinated pose a lower risk of importation and transmission of SARS-CoV-2. The CSA has been advocating for the removal of this requirement since the advisory panel first made this recommendation nearly ten months ago.
Canadian travellers returning to Canada on or after April 1, 2022 will still be required to submit their travel information via ArriveCAN including contact information, travel details, proof of vaccination, and a suitable quarantine plan. More detailed information on ArriveCAN can be found here, https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/arrivecan.html.
For a complete list of the current requirements for re-entry back into Canada, please see the following website, https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid. These requirements are subject to change and it is recommended that members review this site prior to their return to Canada.
For partially or unvaccinated travellers who are currently allowed to travel to Canada, pre-entry testing requirements are not changing. Unless otherwise exempt, all travellers 5 years of age or older who do not qualify as fully vaccinated must continue to provide proof of an accepted type of pre-entry COVID-19 test result:
- a valid, negative antigen test, administered or observed by an accredited lab or testing provider, taken outside of Canada no more than one day before their initially scheduled flight departure time or their arrival at the land border or marine port of entry; or
- a valid negative molecular test taken no more than 72 hours before their initially scheduled flight departure time or their arrival at the land border or marine port of entry; or
- a previous positive molecular test taken at least 10 calendar days and no more than 180 calendar days before their initially scheduled flight departure time or their arrival at the land border or marine port of entry. It is important to note that positive antigen test results will not be accepted.
COVID-19 testing locations in the United States can be found on the following website, https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/community-based-testing-sites/index.html.