July 16: The government of Canada has just announced that Canada will resume COVID-19 mandatory random testing for travellers who qualify as fully vaccinated, arriving in the country by air at four major airports: Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto, as of July 19.
“We need to keep border testing measures in place because that is how we track importation of the Covid-19 virus, and of new variants of concern,” the federal health minister, Jean-Yves Duclos, said in a news release.
All testing for air travellers, 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. Travellers 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. The government press release states.
Moving testing outside of airports will support testing for travellers 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.
Press release states that “Border testing is an important tool in Canada’s detection and surveillance of COVID-19 and has been essential in helping us slow the spread of the virus. Data from the testing program are used to understand the current level and trends of importation of COVID-19 into Canada. In addition, these data have and continue to inform the Government of Canada’s safe easing of border measures. Air travellers who qualify as fully vaccinated and who are selected for mandatory random testing, as well as air travellers 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 travellers 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.”
Canada temporarily paused the airport testing just over a month ago.
All travellers must continue to use ArriveCAN (free mobile app or website) to provide mandatory travel information within 72 hours before their arrival in Canada.