Marc Garneau, Canada's minister of transport, made the announcement on December 31, just days after Quebec officials said they asked the federal government to enforce new travel regulations, including this one.
A new travel rule comes into effect
The new rule applies to all air passengers aged five and older.
"The test must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (or PCR) test and must be taken within 72 hours prior to the traveller’s scheduled departure to Canada," reads the statement.
In addition to testing negative before their flight, travellers coming to Canada will still be required to complete a 14-day quarantine on arrival.
In fact, according to the statement, the Government of Canada is actually ramping up surveillance efforts to enforce the mandatory quarantine.
Violating the Quarantine Act can lead to up to six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines, the statement says.
"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," reads the statement.
"Canadians who are planning to travel abroad should consider how they will meet these requirements before departure."
The federal and provincial governments both strongly advise against non-essential travel.