The latest new entry rules at Canadian airports are now in effect and the Health Minister has released the details!
In response to the new variant of Omicron, the Canadian federal government announced on Tuesday that non-U.S. arriving passengers on international flights will be required to be tested again for COVID-19 (Chinese Communist Virus) upon arrival in Canada, with or without vaccination. Passengers are then required to self-quarantine until they receive a negative test result.
Health Canada, however, has never released specific details of the new entry regulations, which has not only caused fears of staff congestion and confusion at airports, but has also caused many travelers to begin reconsidering their travel plans.
On Friday, Canadian Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said in a news conference that the mandatory entry testing program has been implemented and announced specific details of testing for passengers entering on international flights (except the United States).
Duclos said that when fully vaccinated international passengers fly into Canadian airports from countries other than the United States, they will face two scenarios, either being selected for testing on the spot or taking a test kit home for self-testing (to be completed within 24 hours).
Photo credit: Government of Canada
The traveler must then self-quarantine at home, or at another quarantine location (such as a hotel, at their own expense) while waiting for the test results, which can take up to three days to obtain.
If the traveler tests negative, then the quarantine can be ended immediately and the traveler is free to go outside. If the test result is positive, the traveler must be quarantined for an additional 14 days.
Image source: Internet
If a passenger has a connecting flight, the same test will be required. Samples may be taken on the spot, or the test kit may be taken home for testing before continuing on to the final destination.
As an example, if an inbound passenger from Hong Kong arrives in Vancouver and needs a connecting flight to Kelowna, B.C., the passenger would need to be tested at the Vancouver airport or at home before the connecting flight. Upon arrival in Kelowna, the passenger will then be self-isolated while awaiting test results.
If the traveler chooses to self-test at home, this is done under the video supervision of a nurse from a testing facility (such as Dynacare, LifeLabs or Switch Health) to ensure that the test results are correct. The sample is then sent to the lab via courier, with specific instructions included in the test kit distributed at the airport.
The Canadian federal government will cover all costs associated with inbound testing.
Of particular note is that this new regulation is currently exempt for travelers from the United States. Fully vaccinated travelers arriving from the United States are exempt from testing and quarantine upon landing.
As an example, a fully vaccinated person flying directly from Florida to Montreal in the U.S. would only need to be tested for Neocoron within the first 72 hours of departure for Canada and would not be required to be tested upon arrival in Montreal.
However, a passenger from abroad who is connecting through a U.S. airport for a flight to Canada will still need to be tested upon landing.
For example, if a passenger from Barrie arrives in Atlanta, GA and takes a flight to Toronto, the passenger would be considered a direct flight from Paris to Toronto and would likewise be required to undergo inbound testing.
At the same time, Duclos also said that the exemption policy for the United States may be changed in due course.
Image source: Twitter
“With COVID-19, we want to protect the health and safety of people as much as possible. If we have to take additional measures at the U.S.-Canada border, we will do so.”
Duclos also stressed that “all travelers should be tested upon arrival, but we cannot reach our goal of testing all foreign travelers overnight, and it will take a few more days to do so.” The government is working with laboratories and provincial health departments to improve its ability to test tens of thousands of foreign arrivals.
Since Wednesday, laboratory capacity for testing has been increased by 50 per cent, allowing technicians to conduct tests and get results at a faster pace.
Currently, Canada only allows foreign travelers to enter the country if they are fully vaccinated with Ministry of Health-approved vaccines. Those who have not been vaccinated also face stricter entry restrictions.
The seven Health Canada-approved vaccines include Pfizer, Modena, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, as well as China-made Sinopharm and Kexin, and India-made Covaxin.
Now the epidemic situation is unpredictable, Chinese who plan to travel abroad should be prepared!