It is now mandatory for all foreign inbound travelers to take a Covid-19 test within 72 hours of entering Canada. This rule is applicable for all passengers above five years of age since February 22.
Any traveler with proof of having a vaccine will not be exempt from this rule. Travelers need to prove that they have tested within 72 hours of entering Canada or their scheduled departure time.
Foreign travelers may enter Canada even if they continue to test positive after recovering from Covid-19. However, it is important for such people to take a Covid-19 test between 14 and 90 days before entering Canada.
This is because people can test positive for the virus even after several days of recovering from Covid-19. However, these people are no longer infectious as per the government webpage.
They accept some molecular Covid-19 tests, such as:
- The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test
- The reverse transcription real-time PCR (RT-PCR)
According to the original policy, there will be a higher number of border officials at every Canada’s port of entry. This step is to make sure that inbound travelers are aware of the new rules.
This pre-arrival Covid-19 test will not replace the mandatory quarantine requirement. As per the law, all travelers entering Canada need to quarantine for 14 days.
This means such travelers need to remain indoors with a proper plan of obtaining their daily necessities. This includes medicines, groceries, and food. Those found to break the quarantine rule may face:
- A maximum of six months in prison.
- A maximum of CAD $750,000 in fines.
Covid-19 Test after Arrival
Foreign travelers driving to Canada also need to take a Covid-19 test upon arrival. Land travelers need to enter Canada through one of the ports of entry with onsite testing. At present, there are five ports of entry with onsite testing facilities:
- Douglas, British Columbia
- Coutts, Alberta
- Queenston-Lewiston Bridge, Niagra-on-the-Lake, Ontario
- St. Stephen 3rd Bridge, New Brunswick
- St. Bernard de Lacolle (highway 15), Quebec
Additional 11 land ports with onsite testing facilities will come up by March 4, 2021.
Foreign air travelers also need to take a Covid-19 test after arrival. They need to wait for their results in one of the government-approved hotels for a maximum of three days.
Those with a negative test result may go home. However, they need to continue with their 14-day quarantine.
Those who receive a positive test result will have to relocate to a designated quarantine facility for the remaining of their 14 day quarantine period.
There are some people who are exempt from undergoing the Covid-19 test upon arrival. This list includes:
- Those with a positive Covid-19 test taken between 14 and 90 days prior to travel.
- Children under five years of age.
- Consular or diplomatic couriers and diplomats.
- People who are exempt from quarantine requirements.
Travelers need to take three Covid-19 tests:
- Before arrival
- Upon arrival
- Towards the end of their quarantine period
Upon arrival, visitors will receive information about how to get their final Covid-19 test.
Checklist for Tourists Entering Canada
- Travelers need to have an approved Covid-19 test. The result of the test may be positive, as long as the person has made a full recovery from the Covid-19. It is also important to administer the test 14 to 90 days before entering Canada.
- Travelers need to make reservations in an approved hotel for the compulsory 3-day quarantine. This is possible by calling the designated number.
- Travelers need to have a plan for the remaining of their 14 days quarantine period after leaving their hotel. It is important for them to know how to travel home or their place of quarantine. They should also know how to get their essential items, such as groceries, foods, and medicines.
- Travelers also need to install the ArriveCAN mobile app before visiting Canada. They need to put in their personal information along with their flight details on the app. During their quarantine period, they will be asked to complete a daily self-assessment on the ArriveCAN app.
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