If you thought that you were done with the pandemic and ready to travel, we have some news for you. News that you may not like. The government recently announced that Canada is implementing stricter travel restrictions. Also, the mandatory random COVID testing is going to be back.
Health Canada released a statement on July 14 stating that effective July 19, mandatory random testing will be back. Moreover, travellers who are also fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can also be selected to do the testing.
So, people coming through the four major airports- Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, and Toronto might need to get tested for COVID outside the airport. According to the government, you can do the test at an in-person appointment at a testing provider location.
Also, you can book a virtual appointment. Any fully vaccinated traveler can be randomly asked to do an arrival test. This is applicable to Canadian citizens and PRs as well. Fully vaccinated travellers may need to leave the airport for testing. However, they can still travel to their final destination. They do not need to wait for the test results. And, they can even travel on connecting flights.
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People who are not fully vaccinated need to continue to test as required on arrival. This is on day one and eight. Furthermore, they have to do a two-week quarantine. They can book the tests through a virtual appointment. Additionally, they can do it anywhere that accommodates their quarantine requirements.
If you are chosen to do the test, then you are under a legal obligation to do it. Also, you have to do it within a required timeframe. If you refuse the test, you may have to quarantine. You might have to pay fines or face some enforcement 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.”The Federal Government
If you test positive, you need to isolate for 10 days. This is regardless of your vaccination status. The feds believes that this can help detect any new variants of COVID-19.
According to the Health Canada, having the testing process outside of airports will prevent additional chaos at the airports. People are already disappointed with the long wait times, delays and cancellations.
Currently, people are already frustrated with the process they go through at the airport. Also, they believe that the ArriveCAN app quadruples the average processing times. People say that the app is unreliable. And, it is subject to technological failure.
There is an ongoing petition started by the Thornhill MP, Melissa Lantsman to discontinue the app. Airports should return to pre-pandemic entry practices. If you believe the same and want to avoid the chaos at the airport, you can sign this petition too.
Shanvi Kaur is a content writer at Immigration News Canada. She moved to Canada as an immigrant and now focuses on bringing the latest news to immigrants to make their journey easier in Canada!