Canada cancels PCR antigen testing, removes the “Do not travel” recommendation.

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Canada has just announced that they are reset PCR testing for international arrivals from 1 March.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos has announced that the country will abandon 72-hour pre-flight PCR testing for vaccinated travelers, replacing slow and expensive PCR-type tests with fast and cheap antigen tests. Instead of showing evidence of a negative 72-hour PCR test, from March 1, fully vaccinated foreign arrivals may show evidence of a negative 24-hour antigen test, otherwise known as a “rapid test”.

However, fully vaccinated travelers can be selected at random for testing on arrival, but without requiring quarantine while receiving results.

Ottawa Canada

The new antigen testing aid is more eligible for entry into the United States and much more cost-effective for travelers.

The government will maintain a policy of random testing at the border, but travelers will not need to be quarantined while they wait for tedious results that in the past took up to 4 or 5 days. The type of test used randomly for arriving passengers is still reported as a PCR type test, which does not make sense in terms of cost and resources. The government is increasingly criticized for the fact that PCR-type tests are in high demand in hospitals and need to be changed to antigen at the border.

Seemingly “too little, too late”, the new border rules demonstrate a drastic change for Canada, whose entry requirements remain among the strictest in the world. Undoubtedly that mass protests against restrictions and constant lobbying by the tourism industry played even a partial role in this decision.

PCR test

Recently, Air Canada, WestJet and Pearson Airport in Toronto merged demand an end to Canadian testing policy.

The trio argued that testing asymptomatic travelers was wasteful and that tests should be targeted at the people who need it most. They referred to the fact that only 1.08% of fully vaccinated arrivals gave a positive result. In some provinces, testing of individuals with symptoms had to be limited to eliminate the deficiency.

Toronto Pearson Airport

Omicron strengthened sharply in Canada last month, but the number of new cases has been steadily declining over the past few weeks. 80% of the population received vaccinations and 44% – stormed. now it seems like a good time to ease restrictions during the spring-summer holidays.

Proof of vaccination is required

Choosing 1 antigen test instead of 2 PCR tests will begin the recovery of the affected Canada travel and tourism industry. Currently, citizens and foreigners need to take an arrival test and be isolated until the results of the survey. “Many of these tests are sent to other provinces for processing. And the processing time, which should be standard delivery in three days, exceeds this time. ” This was announced by the President of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada Beth Potter. Due to failed tests, some people need seven days to get results. Most travelers don’t want to book a vacation and spend the whole trip in isolation, so they just don’t go.

There is also a cost component in mass testing of international arrivals.

PCR tests are not cheap and can range from $ 80 to $ 250. This adds a huge load for any potential tourists. Not to mention that the Canadian government is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to test and process these travelers.

man test for covid

The government has also announced a reduction in quarantine measures for children under the age of twelve,

allowing them to go back to school instead of isolating themselves for two weeks. This will allow families to book vacations without worrying that their child stays home for a few weeks after that.

Canada removes the “Do not travel” recommendation.

Canada has decided not to abandon the “Do Not Travel” recommendation, which recommends that all citizens “Avoid insignificant travel outside of Canada because of the risk of the Omicron option that causes COVID-19”. Although this recommendation is aimed at informing citizens and is not legally binding, it has certainly deterred many travelers from leaving the country.

Travelers will still be required to provide their personal information, including vaccination statuson ArriveCAN app. Those who are not vaccinated and have the right to enter under another exception should include them instead quarantine plans in shape.

Canada’s tourism industry, like others, has been wiped out due to the pandemic and tight government restrictions. Government financial support can only help, many of these businesses need patrons to survive. In 2020, the gross domestic product in tourism fell by 47.9% annually, while GDP across the economy fell by only -5.4%. This may be the first opportunity in the last two years for the Canadian tourism industry to see some recovery and hopefully growth.

To summarize the new entry rules for Canada from March 1, 2021, provided you are fully vaccinated, such as:

  • 24-hour pre-flight antigen analysis with negative result
  • Upload test results to the ArriveCan app and fill in all other required fields
  • Potential random PCR test on arrival, quarantine is not required while waiting for results

Travelers can still bring evidence of a negative PCR test if they wish, which must be performed within 72 hours of their departure for Canada.

Unvaccinated foreigners are still barred from entering Canada for tourism. Only unvaccinated Canadians and residents can enter with large numbers application of stricter rules.

Read more:

Travel insurance covering Covid-19 for 2022

The U.S. issues a Level 4 “Don’t Travel” recommendation for Canada

Countries that have reopened to American tourists

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Disclaimer: Current Travel Rules and Restrictions is subject to change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Before traveling, contact your consulate and / or local authorities to confirm your nationality and / or any changes to your travel requirements. Travel Off Path does not approve travel against government recommendations Canada cancels PCR antigen testing, removes the “Do not travel” recommendation.

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