Vancouver International Airport. Right: An Air Canada plane.
The federal government has confirmed that Canada’s travel restrictions will change next month and your vacation is about to get a whole lot cheaper.
In a press conference on Thursday, March 17, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced that pre-entry COVID-19 testing requirements will be scrapped for fully vaccinated travellers, effective April 1, 2022.
It means proof of a negative antigen or PCR test will no longer be required in order to meet Canada’s entry requirements.
The change will apply to fully vaxxed passengers arriving via airports, as well as those crossing the Canada-U.S. border via land.
It means travellers and families will be able to save hundreds of dollars when taking international trips, as they’ll no longer be required to fork out anywhere between $20 and $200 per person for pre-arrival COVID-19 tests upon their return home.
Acknowledging that that March 11 marked two years since the pandemic started in Canada, Duclos said that the country is entering a new “transition phase,” where COVID-19 transition is expected to decline.
The feds say officials will continue to randomly test some travellers upon arrival in Canada, in order to identify and track variants of COVID-19.
Under a rule change made on February 15, those who are chosen for testing are no longer required to isolate while awaiting a result.
Travellers will also have to continue to use the ArriveCAN app to enter the country, regardless of their vaccination status.
Currently, all travellers entering Canada are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Following a change to the rules in February, both rapid antigen tests and PCR tests are accepted.
Those who have not received any COVID-19 vaccines are urged to avoid all non-essential travel abroad. Canadians who are partially vaccinated or unvaccinated must continue to take PCR tests on arrival and on day eight. They’ll also be required to quarantine upon entry for two weeks.
For months, travel and tourism companies have been calling on the feds to relax Canada’s border measures, which they’ve called, ” “stagnant,” “obsolete” and “out of step.”
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.