Vaccinated travellers will no longer require a negative COVID-19 test to come to Canada as of April 1, the government said.
Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, who made the announcement, said the government will get rid of the pre-entry measure April 1 for people arriving by air, land or water.
“High vaccination rates and strong adherence to public health measures have pushed us through the peak of the Omicron wave,” Duclos told reporters. “It’s fair to say that we are now entering into a transition phase of this pandemic.”
Fully vaccinated individuals — in Canada, these are people who have received at least two doses of a Covid vaccine recognized by the World Health Organization — may still be randomly selected upon arrival to take a molecular test. But they will no longer need to quarantine while they wait for their results.
The change is welcome news, just in time for the tourist season, said Perrin Beatty, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable.
“We’ve seen the collapse of our international tourism and convention business over the course of the last two years, and were on the cusp of losing the summer tourist season as well,” Beatty said.
The pre-departure tests, which can cost more than C$200 each, have discouraged Canadians from traveling abroad and foreigners from visiting the country. The tests have also added a layer of uncertainty for people who worry about receiving a positive test result shortly before they are scheduled to travel.
The government will continue to require partially and unvaccinated travelers to provide proof of a negative Covid test result.