Canada Eases International Travel – Replaces PCR Test with Antigen

Canada Eases International Travel – Replaces PCR Test with Antigen

Canada is about to relax its entry restrictions for fully vaccinated international travellers as the Covid cases decline.

Government ministers announced during a Tuesday briefing that, from 28 February, travellers headed to Canada will have the option of providing a negative antigen test taken within 24 hours of their Canada-bound flight.

This would replace the current requirement for a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure, although this will also remain an option for travellers. In order to be accepted, rapid tests will need to have been administered by a laboratory, health-care entity or telehealth service.

The new antigen testing is far more cost-effective for travellers.

A booster shot is also not required to enter the country.

Further Changes on Travel

The new policy changes will also put an end to testing requirements for fully vaccinated Canadians making brief trips (less than 72 hours) outside of the country.

Some travellers will still be randomly selected for compulsory PCR testing at the airport but won’t need to quarantine while awaiting the results.

Also, unvaccinated children under the age of 12 who have travelled outside the country with fully vaccinated adults will no longer need to be kept out of daycares and schools for 14 days following their return home.

“These changes are possible not only because we have passed the peak of Omicron, but because Canadians across the country have listened to the science and to experts.”

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos

The Canadian Health Ministry reported that roughly 80% of Canadians are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with more than 40% having received a booster dose, as well.

Canada’s Global Travel Advisory

Canada is also lowering its global travel advisory, which previously recommended that Canadians avoid all non-essential travel abroad, but is now merely recommending that citizens take appropriate precautions.

Multiple provinces such as Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec are also relaxing social restrictions as hospitalisation numbers fall and epidemiological conditions improve.

Ontario said it’s accelerating a plan to lift vaccination pass requirements and capacity limits placed on many businesses. 

Do you have plans to travel to Canada? Talk to us in the comment section below.

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