Canada has resumed mandatory random testing for COVID-19 for international arrivals entering by air. The government had previously paused the testing on June 11, 2022, as part of a broader strategy to transition testing for air travelers outside of the airports.
Mandatory random testing will resume as of July 19, 2022, for travelers who qualify as fully vaccinated, arriving in Canada by air to the four major Canadian airports, Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto. To qualify as a fully vaccinated traveler to Canada, travelers must have been vaccinated with a primary series of a COVID-19 vaccine accepted by the Government of Canada for the purpose of travel at least 14 calendar days before entering Canada.
All testing for air travelers, for both those who qualify as fully vaccinated and partially or unvaccinated people, will be completed outside of airports, either via an in-person appointment at select testing provider locations and pharmacies, or a virtual appointment for a self-swab test. Travelers who do not qualify as fully vaccinated, unless exempt, must continue to test on Day 1 and Day 8 of their mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Moving testing outside of airports will support testing for travelers arriving by air while still being able to monitor and quickly respond to new variants of concern, or changes to the epidemiological situation. Mandatory random testing continues at land border points of entry, with no changes.
Air travelers who qualify as fully vaccinated and who are selected for mandatory random testing, as well as air travelers who do not qualify as fully vaccinated, will receive an email notification within 15 minutes of completing their customs declaration. The email will contain information to help them arrange for their test with a testing provider in their region. Unvaccinated travelers can complete their tests by a virtual appointment or an in-person appointment with the test provider at their store or at select pharmacies and still respect their quarantine requirements.
All travelers must continue to use ArriveCAN (free mobile app or website) to provide mandatory travel information within 72 hours before their arrival in Canada, and/or before boarding a cruise ship destined for Canada, with few exceptions.
Travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport or Vancouver International Airport can save time by using the Canada Border Services Agency Advance Declaration optional feature in ArriveCAN to submit their customs declaration. Early usage data shows that it is 30 percent faster at the kiosk when travelers use ArriveCAN to declare in advance, instead of paper – saving approximately 40 seconds off a 2-minute transaction.
Frequent travelers can take advantage of the “saved traveler” feature in ArriveCAN which allows a user to save travel documents and proof of vaccination information so that they can reuse it on future trips. The information is pre-populated in ArriveCAN the next time the traveller completes a submission, which makes it faster and more convenient.
All vaccinated travelers who are randomly selected for the border testing surveillance program must complete arrival mandatory testing requirements.
If a traveler’s arrival test result is positive, they must go into isolation and follow the federal requirement to isolate for 10 days from the date of the test result. 10-day isolation is required, even if the isolation requirement is shorter in their province or territory.