It will be after March Break traveler's have already returned home, but the Canadian traveler's are nonetheless heaving a sigh of relief – and looking forward to summer vacation season.
After months of intense pressure on the federal government by Canada’s tourism and travel industries, as well as politicians here and in the U.S., the federal government finally made the long-awaited announcement that it would drop pre-departure testing requirements for Canadian arrivals.
Thursday 17MAR, Canada’s Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos, confirmed on Wednesday that Ottawa is removing entry testing requirements at airports and land border crossings at the end of March.
Border officials will continue to randomly test traveler's upon arrival to identify and track variants of COVID-19. However, there will be no quarantine requirements while those pax await results.
All arrivals still need to use the ArriveCAN app to submit their health information prior to arrival.
The minister of health called Thursday’s announcement “encouraging”, and noted that the pandemic is now entering a “transition phase.”
Full Vaccination Still Required
Vaccine mandates do not change under the new policy changes announced 17March.
The government of Canada still requires pax to be fully vaccinated to board domestic and international flights departing from Canada, for VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains and for cruise ships. While that policy expires in March, it is expected to be extended.
Today’s announcement clarified that although no pre-entry tests will be required for fully vaccinated arrivals into Canada beginning 01April, unvaccinated and partially-vaccinated arrivals will still receive molecular tests upon arrival and on Day 8. And they’ll still need to quarantine for two weeks.
For partially or unvaccinated travelers who are currently allowed to travel to Canada, pre-entry testing requirements are not changing. They must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result:
a valid, negative antigen test, administered or observed by an accredited lab or testing provider, taken outside of Canada no more than one day before their initially scheduled flight departure time or their arrival at the land border or marine port of entry; or
a valid negative molecular test taken no more than 72 hours before their initially scheduled flight departure time or their arrival at the land border or marine port of entry; or
a previous positive molecular test taken at least 10 calendar days and no more than 180 calendar days before their initially scheduled flight departure time or their arrival at the land border or marine port of entry. It is important to note that positive antigen test results will not be accepted.
Cruise Travel in Canada
The announcement marked a great day for Canadian travelers and tourism.
Cruise guests will need an antigen test no more than 1 day prior to boarding, but they will no longer will require to be tested before disembarking from cruise ships in Canada.
Vaccination requirements for cruise arrivals into Canada will remain in place.