Canada's Travel Restrictions Are Easing This Month & Testing Requirements Are Changing

Even more travel rules could be relaxed in the coming weeks.

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Canada's Travel Restrictions Are Easing This Month & Testing Requirements Are Changing

Major changes are coming to Canada's travel restrictions at the end of February and multiple measures will be relaxed with the potential for more to be dropped soon.

In an update on February 15, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos announced that the federal government will be easing border measures as of February 28.

There will be a return to the random testing surveillance program for vaccinated travellers just like before the discovery of the Omicron variant, instead of testing all incoming travellers.

That means fully vaxxed travellers arriving in Canada from any country in the world will only need to take a PCR test on arrival if they are randomly selected to do so.

People who are chosen for that will no longer have to quarantine while waiting for their test results.

Also as of February 28, travellers will be able to use a rapid antigen test or a molecular test to meet pre-entry requirements.

If a rapid antigen test is used, it must be authorized by the country in which it was purchased and be administered by a laboratory, health care entity or telehealth service.

That test must be taken no more than 24 hours before a traveller's scheduled flight or their arrival at the border.

PCR testing rules won't change, they will still have to be taken no less than 72 hours pre-departure. Also, to prove a previous infection, the federal government will still only accept PCR test results.

Unvaccinated travellers will still have to be tested upon arrival and quarantine.

Canada's travel rules are also changing for kids who are under 12 years old and not fully vaccinated but are travelling with fully vaccinated adults.

Those kids won't have to wait and isolate upon arriving in Canada before being allowed to go back to school, daycare or camps. They will also no longer be subject to testing and other specific requirements.

Duclos reminded Canadians that the border measures are transitionary, not temporary and will be reassessed throughout the weeks and months ahead.

The minister noted that if the epidemiological situation in Canada continues to improve, the further easing of travel rules could happen in the coming weeks.

That could include the pre-entry testing requirement for short trips being dropped.

"All measures are subject to constant reevaluation. We will continue to adjust them according to science, prudence and the evolving epidemiological situation," Duclos said.

It was also announced that the federal government is relaxing the global advisory against non-essential international travel and easing the ban on which Canadian airports can accept international flights.

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