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Upcoming removal of pre-travel COVID-19 test requirement for fully vaccinated travellers

Brendan Sheridan

The government of Canada is taking another step to reduce the pre-travel requirements for fully vaccinated travellers when entering the country. It has been announced that as of April 1, 2022 fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to undergo a pre-arrival COVID-19 test.

As noted in the news release, the removal of the pre-travel COVID-19 test requirement for fully vaccinated travellers will be coming into force as of April 1, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. EST. This is another step in the phased approach the government has taken in loosening the travel restrictions. This phased approach began on February 28, 2022 in recognition that the country is now living with COVID-19 and has passed the peak of the Omicron outbreak.

The pre-travel COVID-19 test requirement has been in place for well over a year as it was initially brought into effect on January 7, 2021. This requirement began to be loosened as of February 28, 2022 when travellers were provided with the option of using a COVID-19 rapid antigen test result or a molecular test result to meet pre-entry requirements. The current announcement is now eliminating the need for any pre-travel COVID-19 test as of April 1, 2022 for fully vaccinated travellers.

Unvaccinated travellers who are eligible to enter Canada will still need to provide an accepted pre-entry COVID-19 test result after April 1, 2022. The acceptable pre-entry COVID-19 test results for unvaccinated travellers includes:

  • A valid professionally administered or observed negative antigen test taken outside of Canada no more than 1 day before your scheduled flight or entry to Canada. This test must have been observed or administered by an accredited lab or testing provider;
  • A valid negative molecular test taken outside of Canada within 72 hours of your flight’s scheduled departure time to Canada or your arrival at the land border or marine port of entry;
  • A previous positive molecular test taken at least 10 calendar days and no more than 180 calendar days before your initially scheduled flight’s departure time to Canada or your arrival at the land border or marine port of entry. Positive antigen test results will not be accepted to meet this requirement. You must also no longer have symptoms of COVID-19 when travelling.

The upcoming removal of the COVID-19 pre-travel entry requirement for fully vaccinated travellers will likely be a welcome reprieve for many. This will not only provide more flexibility in planning travel and remove the stress associated with scheduling pre-travel COVID-19 tests within set periods of time prior to travel to Canada, but it will also likely result in savings to those who have travelled outside of Canada as COVID-19 tests can be quite expensive.

While Canada is continuing to loosen the travel restriction requirements, we have seen the country revert to more stringent restrictions when outbreaks are expected to occur so it is important to remain up to date on the requirements when you are travelling.

Our immigration group would be pleased to advise on these travel requirements.

This client update is provided for general information only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about the above, please contact a member of our Immigration group.


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