The federal government is lifting its non-essential travel advisory on February 28, as well as the requirement for cross-border PCR testing for fully vaccinated travelers, as the peak of the Omicron variant passes.
Travelers can now choose the less expensive and more convenient rapid antigen test, which must be taken no later than 24 hours before their scheduled flight or arrival at the land border. It is not enough to use a rapid test at home for pre-entry, it must be authorized by the country in which it was purchased and administered by a laboratory, healthcare service or tele-health service.
Currently, anyone entering Canada, regardless of vaccination status, must show evidence of a negative molecular test, such as PCR, within 72 hours of arrival.
“It will be a lot of their finances, especially if people are visiting in groups or as a family,” says Willie Lee, owner of Can’Air World Travel. “I’m expecting the phone to ring a few times and I’m already receiving emails from people looking at March break travel.”
Lee says it’s important to have insurance because if you test positive for COVID-19 abroad, it will take you ten days to re-enter Canada.
“The travel advisory has been lifted, so you’ll definitely get more coverage,” says Lee. “The insurance will cover your accommodation and additional costs to rebook your tickets, up to a certain amount, they will not pay one hundred percent but at least you are covered for a good amount.”
Unvaccinated children under the age of 12, children traveling with fully vaccinated adults will be exempted from quarantine. This means, for example, that they no longer have to wait 14 days before attending school, daycare, or camp.
Passengers can still be randomly selected upon arrival at the airport to be provided with a molecular test, but will no longer have to quarantine while awaiting results.
When traveling, it is important to know the entry requirements for the country you plan to visit, as many have their own rules. In Canada, all travelers, regardless of how long they have been away, are required to submit their travel information, vaccine status and negative COVID-19 test results via the ArriveCan free mobile app or website.
All Canadian admission requirements and checklists are available online.