Canada is dropping pre-arrival testing for vaccinated travellers as of April 1

Mar 22, 2022

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It’s more good news for travellers, Canada will drop their pre-arrival testing requirement for vaccinated incoming visitors starting April 1.

Canadian government officials announced the rule changes on 17 March, hereby releasing fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada by either land or air from having to show results of a negative rapid test taken within one day of arrival come next month.

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“Today, the Government of Canada announced that effective April 1, 2022 at 12:01 AM EDT, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to provide a pre-entry COVID-19 test result to enter Canada by air, land or water,” said a press release announcing the change on 17 March. “Fully vaccinated travellers seeking to arrive in Canada before April 1, 2022, must still have a valid pre-entry test.”

In their release, Canadian officials also warned that travellers may be randomly selected for COVID-19 testing upon arrival.

“As a reminder, travellers arriving to Canada from any country, who qualify as fully vaccinated, may need to take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival if selected for mandatory random testing,” the release read. “Travellers selected for mandatory random testing are not required to quarantine while awaiting their test result.”

This random testing selection has been in use since last month when the country began allowing rapid tests in lieu of PCR tests for vaccinated travellers.

“Decreasing COVID-19 case counts, coupled with Canada’s high vaccination rates and strict vaccination requirements for travel, have set the stage for the next steps in our Government’s cautious and calibrated approach to safely easing the measures at our border,” Canada’s Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said in a statement. “Lifting the pre-entry testing requirements for travellers to Canada will make it easier for Canadians to safely take advantage of emerging opportunities for personal and business travel, as Canada’s transportation system recovers from the pandemic.”

At this time, Canada only accepts international tourists who have been fully vaccinated by World Health Organization-approved COVID-19 vaccines, including Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

“For partially or unvaccinated travellers who are currently allowed to travel to Canada, pre-entry testing requirements are not changing,” according to the Canadian government. “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.”

Currently, unvaccinated travellers are able to enter by showing a negative antigen test within one day of arrival to Canada; a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure or proof of a positive test taken within 10-180 days of entry.

“It is important to note that positive antigen test results will not be accepted,” per the release.

Additionally, all travellers must continue to complete an online form via ArriveCAN before arriving in Canada.

“Travelers who arrive without completing their ArriveCAN submission may have to test on arrival and quarantine for 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status,” says the release. “Travelers taking a cruise or a plane must submit their information in ArriveCAN within 72 hours before boarding.”

The change in policy marks the removal of one of the final remaining COVID-19 restrictions across Canada, as individual provinces throughout the country have been easing local restrictions since last month.

“People are eager to travel and reconnect with their loved ones, and the end of pre-departure testing will provide travellers with more certainty, allowing them to plan their next trip with more confidence and without the worry of incurring additional costs,” David Rheault, Vice-President, Government and Community Relations at Air Canada said in a statement. “Canada now joins other countries around the world in reopening and we look ahead to the summer travel season.”

The Canadian government did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.

Featured image by Jordan Siemens / Getty Images

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