Fully vaccinated travelers will soon be able to travel to Canada without presenting a negative coronavirus test, the country’s health agency said last week.
The simplified policy comes into effect on April 1 and applies to visitors arriving by air, land or sea.
Until then, travelers five years and older must take a rapid antigen test within one day of their departure to Canada or a PCR test within 72 hours before their trip.
Instead of a test, a past positive test that is at least 10 days old can also be used as proof of recovery. Canada requires travelers to upload their travel details and vaccination record to an online system called ArriveCAN.
Travelers who are not fully vaccinated will continue to follow these testing protocols after April 1st. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated may be refused entry into Canada and will be subject to a 14-day quarantine and additional testing.
In a statement included in the announcement, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos cited declining coronavirus cases, high vaccination rates and strict vaccination requirements for travel as factors “setting the stage for an easing of restrictions”.
Individual provinces and territories in Canada are enacting other restrictions, with multiple mandates to lift masks in March.
According to tracking data compiled by the Washington Post, 82.6 percent of Canada’s population is fully vaccinated, among the highest rates in the world.
The country also saw an 11 percent drop in daily cases to 89 per 100,000 people in the week leading up to last Thursday’s statement.
However, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still considers Canada a Level 4 risk for the spread of the coronavirus and advises against traveling to a country with a “very high” alert.
Canada’s move to increase testing requirements for vaccinated travelers follows similar moves across Europe and, more recently, Southeast Asia.
Cambodia on Thursday suspended mandatory testing for vaccinated visitors, effective immediately. A day earlier, Vietnam reinstated its tourist visa program and scrapped quarantine rules for foreign visitors, but pre-travel testing requirements remain in place.
Meanwhile, Indian Ocean holiday destinations in the Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles have removed the requirement of a PCR test result for vaccinated arrivals.
While the easing of travel restrictions speaks to a desire to revitalize economies and “live with the virus,” experts say outbreaks of an Omicron subvariant called BA.2 in western Europe could herald another wave in the United States.
https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/travel-news/canada-to-drop-covid-testing-requirements-for-vaccinated-travellers-from-april-1-41469534.html Canada is dropping Covid testing requirements for vaccinated travelers from April 1