* This article has been updated as of January 7, 2021, to reflect changes in the Government of Canada’s announcement on January 6, 2021.
The Government of Canada has announced that all arriving air travellers five years of age and older will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before arriving in Canada from another country. Travellers will need to receive a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) test within 72 hours before the traveller’s scheduled departure to Canada.
Documentation showing a negative test must be presented to the airline prior to boarding a flight to Canada. Airlines will be required to refuse boarding to travellers who are unable to present a valid negative test result.
Travellers should be aware that there are some time-limited flexibilities in place for those departing from certain countries. If travellers are arriving from a country where the required testing is unavailable, they will be required to report to a designated Public Health Agency of Canada quarantine facility for the duration of the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
This negative COVID-19 test requirement will not replace the current mandatory 14-day quarantine period for travellers arriving in Canada or the requirement to provide any required information through the ArriveCAN app. The Government of Canada has also announced that the Canada Border Services Agency will be increasing its presence at international airports in Canada, and has strongly advised against travel unless absolutely necessary.
This requirement will be in effect as of midnight Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, January 7, 2021. Individuals who are currently travelling abroad and are planning to re-enter Canada in the near future should take steps as soon as possible to ensure they meet this new requirement.