Latest COVID Test Requirements For Entering Canada, You Should Know!

COVID Test Requirement For Canada

COVID Test Requirements For Canada:

COVID test is required at different stages of your travel to Canada depending on your vaccination status, purpose of travel, etc. Following are the major 3 testing requirements:

  • Pre-Entry Testing Requirements.
  • On-Arrival Testing Requirements.
  • Day-8 Testing requirements.

Click Here For Quarantine Plan Requirements.

Accepted Types Of Tests:

These tests are considered acceptable molecular tests:

  • PCR – Polymerase chain reaction
  • RT-PCR – reverse transcription real time PCR
  • Quantitative PCR (qPCR)
  • Nucleic acid test (NAT) or Nucleic acid amplification test (NAATs)
  • Reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP)
  • Isothermal amplification
  • Droplet digital PCR or digital droplet PCR (ddPCR)
  • Transcription-mediated amplification (TMA)
  • RNA (Ribonucleic acid)
  • Ct (cycle threshold)
  • Sequencing
  • Next generational sequencing (NGS) or whole genome sequencing (WGS)
  • Oxford Nanopore sequencing (LamPORE)
  • Detection of the N gene
  • Detection of Orf1a/b
  • Detection of the S gene
  • Detection of the E gene
  • Detection of the RdRp gene

Pre-Entry Test Requirements

All the fully vaccinated or unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers need to provide a proof of negative COVID test, regardless of citizenship or residency status. This test must be conducted within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time of your last direct flight to Canada.

If you are entering by road, this test must be done in the United States within 72 hours of your planned entry into Canada.

If you are entering by water, this test must be done within 72 hours of your planned entry to Canada.

However, there are certain category of travelers exempt from this pre-entry test requirement.

Who Doesn’t Need Pre-Entry Test:
  • Travelers who recovered from COVID-19 and are asymptomatic. Your positive test should be conducted at least 14 and no more than 180 days before:
    • the initial scheduled departure time of your aircraft, or
    • your entry into Canada by marine or by land
  • Children under the age of 5.
  • Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada and persons registered under the Indian Act, who were denied entry to a country or territory and who must subsequently board a flight destined to Canada (direct back).
  • Persons in the trade or transportation sector who are important for the movement of goods or people, including truck drivers, who cross the border while performing their duties or for the purpose of performing their duties
  • Transiting passengers who are only flying or driving through Canada to reach another country
  • Persons who must cross the border regularly to go to or return from their normal place of employment, including critical infrastructure workers (Energy and Utilities, Information and Communication Technologies, Finance, Health, Food, Water, Transportation, Safety, Government and Manufacturing).
  • A person who enters Canada within the boundaries of an integrated transborder community that exists on both sides of the Canada-United States border and who is a habitual resident of that community.
  • Persons who must leave and return to Canada to receive essential medical services in another country.
  • All the officials on duty and first responders.
Proof Of Your Pre-Entry Test:

At port of entry (POE), you will need to provide an accepted test result (paper or electronic proof) which should include:

  • Traveler’s name and date of birth
  • Name and civic address of the laboratory/clinic/facility that administered the test
  • The date on which the test was conducted
  • The type of test conducted
  • The test result

You are required to keep proof of your test results with you for the 14-days after entering Canada.

What Happens If You Don’t Provide Pre-Entry Test Proof:
🚩If you are a Canadian citizen/Permanent Resident (PR), then you will be allowed to enter Canada, but will have pay fine of up to $5,000 or face criminal prosecution.

🚩If you are a foreign national, then you will not be allowed into Canada

On-Arrival Test Requirements:

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If you are fully vaccinated with Canada approved vaccines, then you may be exempt from arrival testing. However, you may be selected randomly among the fully vaccinated travelers to get an on-arrival test. This means not all the fully vaccinated travelers will be asked to do on-arrival testing, but some of them may be selected to get testing done.

On-Arrival test is free of cost, which means there is no fee for the arrival test.

All the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers need an on-arrival testing.

  • Flying: You may be required to take a COVID-19 test before exiting the airport unless directed to use a home test kit. It’s recommended to create an account in advance to save time at airport.
  • Driving: If your border crossing doesn’t offer on-site testing, or you decide not to use the on-site testing station, you’ll need to follow the instructions in your home test kit to complete the test at your destination.
Testing Providers At The Airports:
Land border crossings offering testing stations:
Border crossingTesting provider
Abbotsford-Huntingdon, BCLifeLabs
Douglas, BCLifeLabs
Pacific Highway, BCLifeLabs
Coutts, ABSwitchHealth
Emerson, MBDynacare
Ambassador Bridge, ONSwitchHealth
Fort Erie (Peace Bridge), ONSwitchHealth
Lansdowne (Thousand Islands Bridge), ONSwitchHealth
Niagara Falls Rainbow Bridge, ONSwitchHealth
Queenston-Lewiston Bridge, ONSwitchHealth
Sarnia (Blue Water Bridge), ONSwitchHealth
Windsor-Detroit Tunnel, ONSwitchHealth
St-Armand/Philipsburg, QCDynacare
St. Bernard de Lacolle (Highway 15), QCDynacare
Stanstead, QCDynacare
St Stephen 3rd Bridge, NBSwitchHealth
Testing Stations

Home Test Kit:

Your test kit service provider is based on where you entered the country: 

1. British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Yukon:
COVID Test Provider
2. Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia
3. Manitoba, Quebec
COVID test provider
Dynacare Website

Day-8 Testing Requirements:

At port of entry (airport or land border), you will be given a home test kit for day-8 testing. This kit is to give sample for COVID test on day-8 of your mandatory quarantine. Fully vaccinated travelers are exempt from quarantine and day-8 testing, so this requirement is only for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers.

Travelers driving between Alaska and continental United States, you are exempt from Day-8 testing.

What If You Test Positive In On-Arrival Or Day-8 Testing:

You must isolate yourself from others immediately for a period of 10 days beginning on the day you tested positive for COVID-19, which is the day you took the test.

A government representative will call you to provide additional details and instructions.

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About Kamal Deep Singh, RCIC 611 Articles
Kamal Deep Singh, RCIC (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant) licensed by CICC (formerly known as ICCRC) with member number R708618. He brings extensive knowledge of immigration law and new changes to rapidly evolving IRCC.