Canada sets its sight on the long-term management of COVID-19 with the news of easing border measurements impacting testing requirements, flights and quarantine. The Government of Canada will adjust the travel health notice, decreasing it from level three to level two.
Main changes starting from February 28, 2022, include:
- The ban on international flights to all remaining airports that normally accept international flights will be lifted.
- Fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada from any country will be subject to random COVID-19 PCR testing. Those selected will not need to quarantine while waiting for results.
- Travellers can now use either a negative COVID-19 Rapid antigen test or molecular PCR test for their required pre-entry proof. It must be administered by a telehealth service or laboratory healthcare entity. (Note the negative rapid antigen test must be taken within 24 hours of the scheduled flight/arrival at the border. The negative PCR test will still need to be taken within 72 hours prior to departure).
- Minors under 12 years of age who aren’t vaccinated but are travelling with a fully vaccinated adult will not need to self-isolate and wait before returning to school or day-care. They will also not need to test or be subject to specific requirements.
- Unvaccinated travellers will still be required to get tested on arrival and on their eighth day in the country. They will still need to quarantine for 14 days.
- Proof of a prior COVID-19 infection must be shown through a molecular test result taken between 10 and 180 calendar days before entering Canada.
This means travellers will no longer be recommended to avoid all non-essential travel. Travellers are still to remain vigilant, with Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos stating, “I want to underscore that Canadians should still exercise caution when travelling abroad,” he said. “There is still the real risk of becoming sick or stranded while abroad and having to extend their trip or find themselves in need of medical assistance, should they test positive for COVID-19 while travelling abroad.”
These changes follow Canada passing the expected peak of Omicron with high vaccination numbers.
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