Starting Today, You Need A Negative COVID-19 Test To Drive Back Into Canada

Starting today, almost all travellers returning to Canada by land have to show proof of a COVID-19 test when arriving at the border.

The test must either be a negative COVID-19 molecular test (such as a PCR test, which is typically taken using a swab inserted into a person’s nose or throat) taken within 72 hours of arriving at the U.S.-Canada land border, or a positive test taken 14 to 90 days before arrival. 

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With new variants emerging, we're stepping [measures] up even further.

Justin Trudeau

Foreign nationals who cannot show proof of a molecular COVID-19 test will be turned away at the border, said Canada's Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair in a press conference

However, there are exceptions to the new rule. 

According to Canada's Minister of Health Patty Hajdu, essential workers, such as truck drivers and emergency service providers, do not need to show proof of a COVID-19 test.

Cross-border communities — people who live along the borders — are exempt as well.

As of February 22, non-exempt travellers entering Canada from land borders will also need to take two additional COVID-19 tests — one on arrival, and another toward the end of their mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reminded Canadians they risk heavy fines or even jail time for breaking the rules.

International flights are currently limited to four airports in Canada — in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary. 

In late January, Trudeau announced that Canada’s major airlines were suspending flights to "sun destinations" until April 30.

He also announced there would be mandatory hotel stays for air travellers returning to Canada, as they await the results of their COVID-19 tests. 

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