Canada to ease Covid19 test requirements for travellers

08Mar

The Minister of Health of Canada, Jean-Yves Duclos, says that the fight against the pandemic is based on science and sound judgment. The announcement of the easing up of the border measures for Canada mirrors progress in the battle against the Omicron variant.

The Canadian Health Minister adds that mandatory testing will be conducted randomly. It will help the Canadian public health authorities figure out the trends in transmission rates of the variants that might cause a problem in the future

Canada has eased entry requirements for fully vaccinated international travellers who will no longer need a molecular Covid-19 test to enter. Fully vaccinated travellers will now be able to enter with antigen tests – generally cheaper and faster than molecular tests. Unvaccinated children travellers will no longer have to isolate for 14 days, and international flights to all Canadian airports will resume starting February 28.

The federal government has also dropped its travel advisory, warning Canadians to avoid international travel. The changes come as Covid-19 cases drop across the country.

Canada’s top doctor said earlier this month that the country had passed its peak of the latest wave driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant. Canada saw a steep rise in case counts beginning in December, before infections began to plateau in the final days of January.

The relaxed entry rules will be reassessed in the coming weeks, with an eye on dropping testing requirements entirely for fully vaccinated Canadians who make short trips – less than 72 hours.

Under the new policy, vaccinated travellers will be able to choose between using a negative rapid antigen test no more than one day before traveling, or a molecular test within 72 hours of their departing flight. Those selected for random testing upon arrival will also no longer need to quarantine while awaiting results.

Unvaccinated Canadians can take a rapid test before they board a plane, but will need to take a molecular test once they land, as well as eight days later, and isolate for two weeks. Some 80% of Canadians are fully vaccinated and more than 40% have also taken a booster dose.

Several provinces including Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec and Ontario – Canada’s most populous province – have recently announced a roll back of pandemic restrictions amid the steady decline of infections.

Opposition to such restrictions drove a weeks-long protest in Ottawa as well as a number of border crossings, disrupting trade and paralysing the downtown core of Canada’s capital city. Demonstrators were cleared from Ottawa earlier this month after a tense stand-off with police.

Requirements to Enter Canada

Travelers to Canada need to meet the following requirements:
  • A negative result of COVID-19 rapid antigen test – 24 hours prior
  • Negative molecular test result – 72 Hours prior
  • Rules Regarding COVID Tests
  • Here are a few guidelines laid down by Canada for travellers to the country.
  • The rapid antigen test taken at home is not considered valid.
  • The test needs to be sanctioned by the country where the test kit was purchased.
  • It must be administered in a laboratory, healthcare body, or telehealth facility.
  • The travellers are required to upload documents through the ArriveCAN app before entering the borders of Canada.
On Arrival:
  • On arrival, the people who have recently travelled to the country can be randomly tested for COVID. People who are fully vaccinated can still be subjected to the test.
  • According to the new rules, travellers do not need to quarantine while waiting for the test results. Even for the people who have travelled beyond Canada or the U.S. borders in the last 14 days.

 

 

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