The government of Canada has announced that fully vaccinated travelers entering Canada will no longer have to complete a pre-entry COVID-19 test beginning April 1.1
Previously, any person travelling to Canada was required to provide proof of a negative PCR or antigen test that had been taken before the traveler’s departure for Canada. This option of completing an antigen test was only permitted recently and prior to that, travelers had to wait for the results of their pre-arrival PCR tests, which could cost $100 or more per person.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Businesses may now send their fully vaccinated employees to Canada at a moment’s notice. They do not need to wait for the results of a COVID-19 test before confirming their eligibility to travel.
In addition, travelers will only be required to complete post-arrival testing if they are randomly selected, and they will not be required to quarantine while awaiting their post-arrival test results.
Travelers Can Now Enter Canada with Greater Flexibility
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the government of Canada has issued several border measures to protect Canadian citizens and permanent residents from the spread of COVID-19. For prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2022-035, Feb. 16, 2022.
The latest announcement is the most significant step the government has taken towards normalizing border procedures and is in keeping with the gradual relaxing of border measures globally. The government will continue to randomly test travelers upon their arrival in Canada. This is largely to identify and track variants of COVID-19.
The Canadian government has also announced:
- All travelers must continue to use the ArriveCan app.
- Unvaccinated travelers who are eligible to enter Canada will continue to be required to complete a pre-arrival test and will also be tested on arrival and on Day 8 and will need to quarantine while awaiting their results. They will also need to continue to quarantine for the full 14 day period.
These are transitory measures that will be re-assessed in the coming weeks/months.
Key Considerations for Employers & Travelers
- Employers should advise their employees that as of April 1, fully vaccinated travelers will no longer need to present a COVID-19 test result in order to enter Canada. This will allow for a more cost effective and reliable travel experience for both the employee and the business.
- Travelers should still verify if they are eligible to enter Canada and meet all entry requirements before heading to the border. This includes proof of full vaccination. Some provinces and territories may also have their own entry requirements in place.
- Travelers may still be subject to random selection for post-arrival COVID-19 testing, however, they will not need to quarantine while waiting for their results.
Individuals who have questions or concerns about the new measures are encouraged to contact KPMG Law LLP for further guidance.
1 For Canadian Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos’ March 17 announcement, see “Government of Canada will remove pre-entry test requirement for fully vaccinated travellers on April 1”.
* Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Canada.
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