The government of Canada announced late last week that starting on Jan. 7, 2021, all inbound international passengers five years of age or older will now be required to show a negative COVID-19 test upon their entry.
The test, which is in addition to 14-day quarantine requirement for arriving international travelers that has been in place for months, must be taken within 72 hours prior to departure to Canada, must be presented to an airline prior to boarding a flight into Canada, and must be a PCR test.
In statements from Canada’s government ministers announcing the news, all cited working to continue to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Canada as reasons for the new requirement.
Bill Blair, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, called the requirement “an additional layer of protection that helps make Canada’s border measures among the strongest in the world” and François-Philippe Champagne, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the move was made to continue to combat COVID-19’s “unpredictable and rapidly changing nature.”
Any inbound traveler testing positive will be rejected from their flight. Those who violate quarantine rules could face up to six months in prison or $750,000 CAD in fines.
“Canadians who are currently travelling and returning to Canada soon should start immediately arranging for a COVID-19 test, to avoid a delay in their return to Canada. Canadians who are planning to travel aboard should consider how they will meet these requirements for departure,” the government said in its statement.