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Newly released information from the federal government confirmed that beginning on Jan. 7, 2021, all international travellers who are five years of age or older that are flying into Canada will require a negative COVID-19 test to enter the country.
Proof of a negative COVID-19 test must be presented to the airline before boarding a flight to Canada. It must be a molecular polymerase chain reaction, commonly referred to as a PCR test, and needs to be conducted within 72 hours prior to departure.
These details come after Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, initially announced on Wednesday that pre-departure testing would soon be required for travellers coming to Canada.
“Our government remains committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians,” a statement from Minister of Transport Marc Garneau reads. “These new measures will provide another layer of protection for Canadians as we continue to assess public health risks and work to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.”
Even when this new testing requirement comes into effect on Jan. 7, all travellers to Canada must also complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
“As the global situation evolves, we continue to work with our partners to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 into Canada at all international ports of entry,” a statement from Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness reads. “The new testing requirement is an additional layer of protection that helps make Canada’s border measures among the strongest in the world.”
The Canadian government also indicated it will be increasing surveillance of travellers who are entering Canada to ensure they are following the quarantine rule for the full 14 days. Travellers need to use the ArriveCAN App or website to provide their contact information and quarantine plan before arrival.
Anyone who has been found in violation of the quarantine rule could face six months in prison, and/or up to $750,000 in fines.
On Wednesday, Blair said the “greatest concern” is international travellers arriving at Canada’s airports but indicated the federal government is working with provincial authorities on options to introduce testing regimes at land border crossings as well.