Why does Canada accept ONLY PCR tests? Health Canada explains

Updated: Feb 5, 2021

Since Jan. 7, all air passengers entering Canada have been required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before arriving in the country.


Under the new policy, travellers must receive a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their departure time. Those who fail to show proof of their results will be denied boarding.


There are different kinds of COVID-19 tests, and for travel agents, understanding the various methods, and explaining to clients how they work, has become part of the job.


PCR testing is considered the gold standard in COVID-19 detection.

The test typically involves using a swab inserted into a person’s nose or throat and the tests are processed in a lab.


The turnaround time can range anywhere between 24 hours to three or four days.

LAMP (loop-mediated isothermal amplification) is a relatively new DNA amplification technique that also uses a swab from throat and nose.


In contrast to PCR, which detects COVID-19 using various temperatures and cycles, LAMP testing is performed at a constant temperature and does not require a thermal cycler. These tests can also have faster processing times.


PCR and LAMP molecular tests are the two leading methods currently accepted by the Gov