Canada eases Covid-19 testing rules for vaccinated travelers (2022)

Canada is easing Covid-19 testing regulations for travelers. Starting February 28, the country will no longer require PCR tests for fully vaccinated travelers and will accept rapid tests, according to Federal Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos’ announcement.

This transition is possible because of a number of factors, including Canada’s high vaccination rates, the increasing availability and use of rapid tests to detect infection, decreasing hospitalization rates and growing domestic availability of therapeutics and treatments.

On February 15th, the Government of Canada announced a series of adjustments to the current border measures, representing the beginning of a phased easing of travel restrictions. The ability of the country to transition to a new phase at the border is a result of the actions of tens of millions of Canadians across the country who followed public health measures, including getting themselves and their families vaccinated.


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1.Testing rules for vaccinated travelers in Canada

Rapid tests may be taken the day before arriving in the country, and PCR tests can be taken 72 hours before a scheduled flight or arrival at the border. Also, the Canadian government will no longer recommend that Canadians avoid nonessential travel.

“I am happy to announce these changes today, as I know many of us are looking forward to living with fewer restrictions. However, we must continue to exercise prudence,” Duclos said. “Let me be clear: Our fight against the virus is not over.”

Canada is also returning to a randomized testing surveillance program that was in place before the Omicron variant’s surge.

Moving forward, fully vaccinated travelers who are selected under the randomized testing system will no longer be required to quarantine while awaiting test results.

Restrictions for children 11 and younger who are not fully vaccinated and traveling with fully vaccinated parents will be lifted. Children who fall in this category will no longer need to self-isolate before attending school, daycare or camp. They also will no longer be subject to testing.

“Canada needs to be prepared to tackle future waves, future variants — which may or may not be smaller than this Omicron surge, depending on how the virus evolves,” Dulos said.

Unvaccinated travelers will still be subjected to testing requirements and a 14-day quarantine. Unvaccinated foreign nationals will not be permitted to enter Canada unless they meet one of the few exemptions.


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Canada eases Covid-19 testing rules for vaccinated travelers

2. Quick facts for travelers to Canada

  • Travelers should check if they are eligible to enter Canada and meet all entry requirements before heading to the border. In addition, some provinces and territories may have their own entry restrictions in place. Check and follow both the federal and any provincial or territorial restrictions and requirements before travelling to Canada.
  • All travelers, regardless of how long they were away from Canada, continue to be required to submit their mandatory information via ArriveCAN (free mobile app or website), including proof of vaccination in English or French and a quarantine plan prior to arriving in Canada.
  • To prove a previous COVID-19 infection, the Government of Canada will continue to only accept molecular test results, taken at least 10 calendar days and no more than 180 calendar days before entering Canada.
  • In considering whether to travel, travellers should consider the availability of medical services in a foreign country, and plan for the potential high costs associated with medical treatment and extending their trip, should they test positive for COVID-19 while abroad. Travellers should also understand that there is a continued risk that border and travel measures in other countries, as well as in Canada, may change while they are abroad and should regularly review the entry requirements and exemptions for their travel situation.
  • Canadians can continue to do their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by getting vaccinated and boosted, using masks where appropriate, self-isolating if they have symptoms and self-testing if they 


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