Starting Tuesday, December 21, all arrivals back to Canada from short-term trips will again be required to show proof of a negative PCR test result taken from the previous 72 hours.
Once the rule is restored next week, it means all Canadian permanent residents and citizens returning by land from the United States after a day-long or overnight trip will now have to provide a negative PCR test at the Canadian border.
Pre-Arrival Testing Required For All Trips, Test Must Be Taken Outside Of Canada
In a press conference with health officials on Friday, Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos outlined the specifics of the reinstated entry requirements.
According to the latest guidance, all persons returning to Canada from any length of time must show a negative PCR test result at the border.
In addition, the test must be taken outside of Canada and must be from the previous 72 hours (maximum). This means that even if you are driving to the U.S. and back to Canada in just one day, you can’t bring a negative PCR test taken in Canada from before your trip – you must show a new test.
Defending this reinstated measure, Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos stated the following: “It’s an additional layer to protect the health and safety of those that are traveling and those that will be exposed to them once people come back to the country.”
Canada Lifts Travel Ban On Ten Countries
During the same press conference, Minister Duclos also announced that Canada’s travel ban on ten nations in southern Africa will be lifted as of 11:59 p.m. on December 18. The ban was put in place last month due to fears of the spread of the omicron variant.
Testing Requirements Update Follows This Week’s Travel Advisory From Canada
Among these travel updates announced over the past few days, the government also issued an official advisory earlier this week for Canadians to avoid all non-essential international travel. This notice essentially brought back the government’s ‘do not travel’ advisory from the beginning of the pandemic. The measure is set to be in place for at least four weeks, after which it will be reviewed.
The travel advisory followed a meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and all provincial leaders across the country to discuss what to do about the omicron variant.
Tightened Entry Requirements Come After Weeks Of Loosened Travel Restrictions
Back in November, Canada eased some travel restrictions following the re-opening of the U.S. land border. While all international travelers (including U.S. visitors) must provide a negative Covid PCR test result to enter Canada by air and land, the government dropped the requirement for Canadians returning from the U.S. via the land border for trips less than 72 hours.
Canada also quietly lifted the ‘do not travel’ advisory that was in place since March of 2020, as the notice was removed from the official government website in late October. Now, both of those restrictions have been reinstated.
Many Canadians and other citizens from across the world were eager to travel again this holiday season after 20 months of travel restrictions, but this has changed in recent weeks.
With more border restrictions and entry requirements popping up in nations across the EU and the Americas, travel is looking a little different as the winter approaches.
Recent Travel Advisories Follow Push Back From Tourism Industry
The Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable expressed their concerns over the updated restrictions and advisories that were announced this week, saying that “closing borders and preventing travel is not the solution.”
On top of that, WestJet issued a statement following the government’s recent warning to avoid all non-essential international travel.
The airline expressed its “strong opposition” to the Canadian government’s travel advisory, citing that it infringes on the WHO’s recent guidance. The World Health Organization’s updated guidance states that, “Countries should continue to apply an evidence-informed and risk-based approach when implementing travel measures in accordance with the IHR.” (International Health Regulations).
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories