Spring Break is coming up quickly! Have you planned a trip for the time off or are you planning on staying home to clean? I know everyone is getting itchy feet, at least I am, and a trip away sounds like a great plan to me. But what about COVID protocols?
Last month, the Government of Canada announced a series of adjustments to the current border measures, representing the beginning of a phased easing of travel restrictions. As of February 28, 2022, some of the adjustments include changes to:
Pre-entry testing before your trip
Unless otherwise exempt, all travellers 5 years of age or older, whether entering by air, land, rail or marine vessel, regardless of how long they were away from Canada, must provide proof of an accepted type of pre-entry COVID-19 test result:
· a valid, professionally administered or observed negative antigen test taken outside of Canada no more than one calendar day before their scheduled departure flight or their arrival at the land border or marine port of entry (Positive antigen tests will not be accepted as proof of a prior positive infection);
· a valid negative molecular test taken no more than 72 hours before their scheduled departure flight or their arrival at the land border or marine port of entry; or
· a previous positive molecular test taken at least 10 calendar days and no more than 180 calendar days before their scheduled departure flight or their arrival at the land border or marine port of entry.
Travellers are reminded that to be valid for the purpose of travel, a COVID-19 antigen test must:
· be authorized for sale or distribution in Canada or in the jurisdiction in which it was obtained
· be taken outside of Canada, regardless of the length of the trip out of country
· be administered by an accredited laboratory or testing provider, or, if self-administered, must be observed in person or via audio-visual connection by the accredited laboratory or testing provider that supplied the test.
Fully vaccinated travellers arriving to Canada from any country will not need to take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival, unless randomly selected. If selected, they no longer have to quarantine while awaiting their test result.
Unless otherwise exempt, all travellers eligible to enter Canada who do not qualify as fully vaccinated will continue to be tested with COVID-19 molecular tests on arrival and on Day-8 while they quarantine for 14 days.
On-arrival testing is the cornerstone of identifying new and emerging variants, including the threat of possible vaccine escape variants entering Canada. By being tested, travellers are helping to protect themselves and the people in Canada from the spread of COVID-19.
All unvaccinated travellers arriving by air are highly encouraged to pre-register with the testing provider that will do the testing at their airport of arrival. By doing their part, travellers can help to expedite the process at the airport.
Arriving in Canada
All travellers, regardless of how long they were away from Canada or their vaccination status, continue to be required to submit their mandatory information via ArriveCAN (free mobile app or website) within 72 hours before arriving in Canada, which includes:
· contact information and travel details;
· vaccination information and proof of vaccination in English or French – if required;
· pre-entry COVID-19 test results, and,
· a quarantine plan prior to arriving in Canada.
If you are a foreign national travelling for discretionary purposes and do not submit your information through ArriveCAN, you may be denied entry into Canada.
Canadian citizens, permanent residents or persons registered under the Indian Act who do not submit their information through ArriveCAN will not be denied entry, but they:
· won’t be eligible for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption (i.e. you may have to quarantine);
· may face additional delays at the border for public health questioning; and,
· may be subject to fines or enforcement action.
For additional information, please visit: travel.gc.ca/travel-covid