Canadian Government to Remove Pre-entry Tests for Fully Vaccinated Travelers
As of April 1, 2022, fully vaccinated arrivals will no longer be required to submit a negative pre-entry coronavirus test report in order to enter Canada by land, air, or sea.
On March 1, the Canadian government already announced that would accept antigen tests. Previously, only molecular ones were acceptable. Now, Canada takes further steps to ease travel restrictions by lifting the testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers.
Nevertheless, the country decided to remain on-arrival random testing so any traveler can be selected and tested for COVID-19. Arrivals are not obliged to quarantine until receiving the test result.
Who still needs to take the COVID-19 test to enter Canada?
The removal of the pre-entry testing requirement does not affect partially or unvaccinated passengers (traveling for essential reasons) who are currently also permitted to Canada. For them, the testing requirement remains in place.
All travelers aged 5 and older (unless otherwise exempt) who cannot be qualified as fully vaccinated must still submit a coronavirus test report.
Among the accepted ones are:
- a valid negative molecular test performed no earlier than 72 hours of the planned departure flight or their arrival time at the Canadian entry point;
- a valid negative antigen test taken by an accredited testing provider or lab performed outside of Canada no earlier than 24 hours before the scheduled flight time or their arrival time at the Canadian entry point;
- a previous positive molecular test performed at least 10 calendar days and no earlier than 180 calendar days prior to the intended departure or arrival at one of the Canadian entry points
Please note: Positive antigen test reports are not acceptable!
Other travel documents to enter Canada
All travelers still need to submit their personal, health, and travel-related details in ArriveCAN before their arrival in Canada. Failure to complete it may result in the obligation to be tested on arrival and undergo a 14-day quarantine, no matter the vaccination status. Travelers entering Canada by sea or air must submit the required information in ArriveCAN within 72 hours of boarding a plane or embarking on a ship.
Since May 2016, eligible travelers can travel to Canada with an electronic travel authorization - Canadian eTA. Its introduction allows many foreign travelers to save plenty of time since the eTA application is processed within only 72 hours. Moreover, the application is completely online and requires no Embassy visits.
Holders of the eTA can visit Canada for tourism, transit, or business purposes. As eTA remains valid for 5 years and is a multiple-entry permit, it allows numerous trips within this long period of time. One single stay may be as long as 6 months.
Improving coronavirus situation in Canada
A number of factors have contributed to the recent adjustments of entry rules, including the high vaccination rate, the increasing availability of rapid antigen tests among Canadians, as well as the decreasing number of cases requiring hospitalization, and the widespread availability of coronavirus treatment.
Due to these significant improvements as regards vaccination rate and healthcare system capacity, the Canadian authorities consider further relaxation of the protective measures introduced amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Lifting the pre-entry tests for vaccinated arrivals to Canada may be huge facilitation not only for foreign travelers but also for Canadians who may take advantage of personal and business travel opportunities. These were reduced because of the pandemic.