Partially- or un-vaccinated passengers will still be required to get tested before arriving.
In a significant move towards reopening borders, the Canadian government today announced discontinuing all Covid-related testing requirements for fully vaccinated international passengers arriving in Canada. The new rules are applicable for travelers entering the North American country by land, air, and water.
Canada’s Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra said,
“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. 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.”
No more pre-arrival testing
The current rules mandate all incoming international passengers to provide a pre-entry COVID-19 test result regardless of their vaccination status. Negative antigen and molecular tests were taken no more than 24 or 72 hours, respectively, before the scheduled flight departure time were accepted. A positive antigen test taken between 10-180 days before departure is also accepted.
From April 1st, 2022, passengers recognized as “fully vaccinated” by Canada need not provide a test result on arrival. You can check if you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveler under Canadian law here. However, the mentioned requirements remain unchanged for partially or unvaccinated travelers.
The Public Health Agency of Canada said even passengers who qualify as fully vaccinated might be randomly asked to take a mandatory molecular test on arrival.
Air Canada hails the decision
Naturally, the government’s decision to ease entry into Canada is good news for all airlines operating in the country. Air Canada welcomed the announcement with open arms saying it will be a massive boost to the airline’s recovery in the post-pandemic world.
Air Canada’s Vice President for Government and Community Relations, David Rheault, said,
“Today’s announcement by the federal government is excellent news for the entire travel and tourism industry, which are important contributors to the Canadian economy. 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. Canada now joins other countries around the world in reopening and we look ahead to the summer travel season. The removal of pre-departure testing requirements will continue to accelerate and stimulate the recovery of Canada’s travel and tourism industry, which we are committed to help rebuild through the restoration of our global network.”
With today’s announcement, Canada now joins several other countries around the globe who have also made significant relaxations for incoming passengers. The list includes countries like Australia, the United Arab Emirates, and India, among others. Now that global active Coronavirus cases have significantly dropped, airlines, airports, and governments alike are preparing for a massive spike in tourism and travel.
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