Canada has announced that fully-vaccinated travellers are not required to present a pre-arrival COVID-19 test, from April 1. According to reports, the new measures will be applicable to all travellers entering from all ports of entry.
CIC News reported that the Canadian government has dropped the COVID-19 testing measures for all fully-vaccinated travellers, however, the random tests can still be performed on these travellers upon arrival, in a bid to keep track of the different variants of the virus. Additionally, the government also pointed out that the fully-vaccinated travellers that get selected for one of these random tests will not be asked to quarantine while waiting for the result.
The move comes after travel industry advocates stood strongly against testing requirements, stating that pricing can deter prospective travellers. In the words of the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable, the COVID-testing on arrival in Canada is a non-science-based requirement.
CIC News reported that a molecular COVID-19 test in Canada can cost around CAD 200, while an antigen test in Canada may cost less than CAD 100. The group further highlighted the stance taken by other countries like the UK, Ireland, Switzerland and Denmark, where testing requirements have been dropped.
According to current Canadian travel regulations for international travellers, a pre-arrival antigen, taken within 24 hours of boarding the flight must be provided, or take a test on arrival. The current regulations also state that the tests taken must be approved by the government of the country of departure and should not have been taken at home. An alternate solution also allows travellers to take a molecular test within 72 hours of entering Canada. More importantly, all documents must be uploaded to the ArriveCAN app before the border has been crossed.
Latest updates on travel relaxations for foreign travellers travelling to Canada also included the removal of the 2-week mandatory quarantine for unvaccinated children under the age of 12 travelling to Canada.
No changes have been made to the vaccination requirement to enter the country. Currently, fully vaccinated permanent and temporary residents, as well as visitor visa holders, are allowed to travel to Canada. However, unvaccinated travellers can only enter the country under special circumstances which include, Ukraine citizens, temporary foreign workers returning to the farming or food processing sector or those who routinely travel between borders for work and more.
Specifically for unvaccinated travellers and partially-vaccinated travellers, they will need to be quarantined for 14 days after arrival, along with getting themselves tested on the eighth day of their quarantine.
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