OTTAWA — As of April 1, fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada will not have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. However, passengers may still be randomly selected for PCR testing at the airport and travellers will still have to use the ArriveCAN app to enter their proof of vaccination and other required information.
“Adjustments to Canada’s border measures are made possible by a number of factors, including Canada’s high vaccination rate, the increasing availability and use of rapid tests to detect infection, decreasing hospitalizations and growing domestic availability of treatments for COVID-19,” says The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health. “As vaccination levels and healthcare system capacity improve, we will continue to consider further easing of measures at the borders-and when to adjust those measures-to keep the people in Canada safe.”
“Decreasing COVID-19 case counts, coupled with Canada’s high vaccination rates and strict vaccination requirements for travel, have set the stage for the next steps in our government’s cautious and calibrated approach to safely easing the measures at our border,” says The Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport. “Lifting the pre-entry testing requirements for travellers to Canada will make it easier for Canadians to safely take advantage of emerging opportunities for personal and business travel, as Canada’s transportation system recovers from the pandemic.”
This announcement is welcome news to travel and tourism businesses and organizations which have been arguing that the requirement isn’t supported by science and presents a logistical and financial burden on businesses and travellers.
“The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) strongly supports the announcement by the federal government to end mandatory testing on arrivals to Canada. The hotel sector has vigorously campaigned for federal restrictions to be more in line with provincial and international health measures. [Last Thursday’s] announcement is a very positive step toward normal,” reads a statement from HAC. “This policy will help start the hotel sector’s long road to recovery. The hotel sector is among the hardest hit by government-pandemic restrictions and the reality is that two years of strict measures will continue to hurt international bookings for the foreseeable future. It remains critically important that robust support introduced by the Liberal Government in Bill C-2 be maintained to support these businesses’ survival until the busier summer season. Ending testing cannot come with cuts to support packages.”
For the time being, fully vaccinated travellers are required to show proof of a negative rapid-antigen test ahead of a scheduled flight or land-border crossing.