Pre-departure COVID-19 Testing for Air Travellers Entering Canada 

In an effort to continue to reduce the spread of COVID-19, especially in light of the recently announced confirmed cases of the UK COVID-19 Variant in Ontario, the Government of Canada is taking pre-emptive actions to protect the health and safety of Canadians. The federal government is now introducing a new measure that will be effective on January 7th,

requiring that airline passengers entering Canada produce a negative COVID-19 test.


Who Must Undergo Testing?

Under the new measure, all passengers over the age of five, traveling on or after January 7, 20201 (unless otherwise exempted), must provide a negative COVID-19 test before traveling by air from another country to Canada.


What Kind of Test is Acceptable?

Documentation of a negative test result on a molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test, which is the standard nose swab test for detecting active COVID-19 infections, must be provided to the airline within 72 hours of boarding a flight to enter Canada. If you test positive, you will not be able to board your aircraft.


Which COVID-19 tests are official/acceptable?

Only written or electronic test results (PCR) from labs accredited by an external organization (e.g., a government, a professional association or ISO accreditation).


Are there Other Requirements to Enter Canada?

Despite having a negative COVID-19 test, all air travelers must use ArriveCAN and provide accurate contact information and their mandatory 14-day quarantine plan on or before entry. In addition, travelers must have their quarantine plans reviewed by a government official and, if not suitable, will be asked to quarantine in a federal quarantine facility.


What Are the Consequences for failure to comply?

Failure to comply with this order is an offense under the Quarantine Act and could lead to imprisonment and/or fines (six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines). The government has taken action to increase surveillance and enforcement of these mandatory quarantine restrictions. 


What will happen if travelers can’t get a COVID-19 test in the country they are in?

There are some countries where it may be impossible to get a PCR COVID-19 test, so the government of Canada may still board their flight but will have to report to a designated Public Health Agency of Canada quarantine facility for the duration of their mandatory 14-day quarantine.


What Other Requirements Are Passengers Required to Follow?  

Health check questions, temperature screening, and the wearing of masks onboard flights to Canada remain in place.


Who is exempted from this requirement?

  1. Children under the age of 5
  2. A crew member or a person who seeks to enter Canada only to become such a crew member
  3. Emergency service providers
  4. Technical stops – flights refueling


If you have any questions and need assistance with the new orders in place, please contact our office at