After a brief pause, Canada will restart random COVID-19 testing for vaccinated travelers at its airports next week.
The protocol had been paused since June 11 in order to deal with some of the travel delays and disruptions that had been causing issues since the start of the summer travel season. However, it will resume at Canada’s four major airports—Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, and Toronto—starting on July 19.
The actual testing will be different than it was prior to the pause. Instead of testing directly outside of the customs hall, all testing will be completed away from airports, either via an in-person appointment at select locations or a virtual appointment with a self-swab test.
Fully vaccinated travelers will receive an email notification within 15 minutes of completing customs at the airport, alerting them that they have been randomly selected for the mandatory testing. That email will contain information on getting a test scheduled.
Unvaccinated travelers coming into Canada will still be forced to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine and test on Day 1 and Day 8.
That change was announced earlier in June and the government said it “will allow Canada to adjust to increased traveler volumes while still being able to monitor and quickly respond to new variants of concern, or changes to the epidemiological situation.”
"As demand for travel increases across the world, today's announcement marks an important step in our progress to streamline testing processes outside our airports while preventing the further spread of COVID-19. The Government of Canada will continue to protect travelers and employees and ensure our transportation system is safe, reliable, and resilient for the long term,” Canada’s Minister of Transport, Honourable Omar Alghabra, said on Thursday.
Travelers will also still have to complete the ArriveCan app prior to entering Canada. The app also contained a “saved traveler” function that will allow users to save documents and proof of vaccination to reuse on future trips.