The Public Health Agency of Canada says it is easing COVID-19 testing requirements necessary to cross its border.
Beginning Feb. 28, the country will accept a rapid antigen test taken the day before arrival to meet pre-entry requirements. Molecular tests taken up to 72 hours before crossing the border will continue to be accepted as well. However, at-home test results will not be accepted.
Fully-vaccinated travelers that are randomly chosen for border arrival testing will also no longer need to quarantine while they await their results.
Children under 12 years old, travelling with fully-vaccinated adults, will continue to be exempt from quarantine. They will no longer need to wait 14 days before attending school, camp or daycare.
Unvaccinated travellers will continue to be required to test on arrival, on day eight and quarantine for 14 days. Unvaccinated foreign nationals will not be permitted to enter Canada unless they meet one of the few exemptions.
“For two years now, our government’s actions in the fight against COVID-19 have been based on prudence and science. Today’s announcements are a reflection of the progress we have made against this current Omicron variant,” said Canadian Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos. “The return to mandatory random testing of all vaccinated travellers will facilitate travel for Canadians all while helping our public health authorities to detect future changes in COVID-19 importation rates and variants of concern. As we have said all along, Canada’s border measures will remain flexible and adaptable, for potential future scenarios.”
The agency released the following quick facts for those crossing the border:
- Travellers should check if they are eligible to enter Canada and meet all entry requirements before heading to the border. In addition, some provinces and territories may have their own entry restrictions in place. Check and follow both the federal and any provincial or territorial restrictions and requirements before travelling to Canada.
- All travellers, regardless of how long they were away from Canada, continue to be required to submit their mandatory information via ArriveCAN (free mobile app or website), including proof of vaccination in English or French and a quarantine plan prior to arriving in Canada.
- To prove a previous COVID-19 infection, the Government of Canada will continue to only accept molecular test results, taken at least 10 calendar days and no more than 180 calendar days before entering Canada.
- In considering whether to travel, travellers should consider the availability of medical services in a foreign country, and plan for the potential high costs associated with medical treatment and extending their trip, should they test positive for COVID-19 while abroad. Travellers should also understand that there is a continued risk that border and travel measures in other countries, as well as in Canada, may change while they are abroad and should regularly review the entry requirements and exemptions for their travel situation.
- Canadians can continue do their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by getting vaccinated and boosted, using masks where appropriate, self-isolating if they have symptoms and self-testing if they can.