Canada, like many countries around the world, is loosening its travel restrictions as its COVID-19 situation improves. The Canadian government has announced that beginning April 1, fully vaccinated travelers will no longer need to provide a negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada.
“Adjustments to Canada’s border measures are made possible by a number of factors, including Canada’s high vaccination rate, the increasing availability and use of rapid tests to detect infection, decreasing hospitalizations, and growing domestic availability of treatments for COVID-19,” Canada’s Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos, said in a statement. “As vaccination levels and healthcare system capacity improve, we will continue to consider further easing of measures at the borders — and when to adjust those measures — to keep the people in Canada safe.”
This adjustment comes as over 82 percent of Canada’s population has become fully vaccinated for COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine data; and while 35,273 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Canada in the past week, that number is down significantly from the country’s record high of 268,181 new cases reported for the week of January 3–9, 2022.
Government officials recognize that the news is welcomed by those in the tourism, as well as manufacturing and logistics — industries that suffered setbacks while Canada’s borders have been heavily regulated due to the pandemic.
“After a challenging two years, we all want the Canadian economy, including the tourism sector, to rebound and grow,” Randy Boissonnault, minister of tourism and associate minister of finance, said. “We are confident that, thanks to all that Canadians have done to protect one another, we can now take the next step forward and remove testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers entering Canada. The economy, workers, and tourism business owners will benefit from this next step in opening Canada up once again to the world.”
Beginning April 1
As of 12:01 a.m. EST on April 1, fully vaccinated travelers will no longer need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result to enter Canada, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
There are, however, some important stipulations to keep in mind.
First, even after April 1, all travelers will still need to submit their health information to the Canadian government using the ArriveCAN system before they arrive at Canada’s border. Importantly, travelers who don’t complete their ArriveCAN submission may have to test on arrival and then quarantine for 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status.
Secondly, fully vaccinated travelers from other countries may need to take a COVID-19 molecular test upon arrival in Canada if they are selected for mandatory random testing. However, travelers selected for mandatory random testing are not required to quarantine while they wait for the result of their test.
Pre-entry COVID-19 test requirements will not change on April 1 for partially or unvaccinated travelers.
There are several options for these tests. The first is for a traveler to provide proof of a negative antigen test administered by an accredited lab or testing provider no more than 1 day before their initially scheduled flight departure time or their arrival at Canada’s land border or marine port of entry. Another option is to provide proof of a valid negative molecular test taken no more than 72 hours prior.
Alternatively, a traveler may provide proof of a previous positive molecular test if they no longer have symptoms and the test was administered at least 10 calendar days but no more than 180 calendar days prior.
You can find all the details about traveling to Canada here.
Know Before You Go
If you are planning to travel to Canada, keep in mind that until April 1, all travelers entering Canada, including returning residents, must enter their information in the ArriveCAN system within 72 hours before their arrival in Canada. Also, until April 1, all fully vaccinated travelers must provide proof of a valid pre-entry COVID-19 test.
It’s worth noting, though, that Canada remains on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Level 4 list of countries with very high levels of COVID-19. They still advise Americans to avoid traveling to Canada.
Canada joins a long list of countries loosening COVID-19 restrictions. In the past month: