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Canada’s Border Reopening: Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following information is based on existing guidelines and available information, and may be subject to change as further border reopening details emerge.  

 

Pre-Entry COVID-19 Test Requirements to Enter Canada:  

  • All travellers (regardless of citizenship) must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test  

  • If you’re driving to a land border, you must take a test in the US within 72 hours of your planned entry into Canada  

  • If you’re flying to Canada, you must take a test within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time of your flight to Canada  

  • If you have a connecting flight, the test must be conducted within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time of your last direct flight to Canada (you may need to schedule the test in your transit city) 

  • Find a testing facility here 

  • All travellers must: 

  • Provide one of the accepted types of molecular tests (e.g. PCR). Rapid tests (e.g. antigen test) will not be accepted. 

  • Keep proof of your test results for the 14-day period that begins on the day you enter Canada  

 

What is the proof of vaccination documentation required to enter Canada?   

Fully vaccinated travellers must: 

  • Have received the full series of a vaccine, or a combination of vaccines, accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada  

  • Currently accepted vaccines are: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) 

  • Provide proof of vaccination information electronically through ArriveCAN (app or web portal) prior to departing for Canada  

  • Have a paper or digital copy of their vaccination documentation in English or French (or certified translation, along with the original) ready to show a government official on request. The documentation must show that both vaccine doses are accepted by the Government of Canada. 

 

Where can I get a post-arrival COVID-19 test in Ontario?  

Fully vaccinated travellers do not have to do an arrival test (as of August 9, this will apply to fully vaccinated US citizens and permanent residents residing in the US; tentatively as of Sept 7, this will apply to fully vaccinated travellers from all other countries). However, fully vaccinated travellers may be randomly selected to complete a Day 1 (arrival) COVID-19 molecular test. Unvaccinated children accompanying fully vaccinated travellers will still require a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival and on Day 8.  

When entering Canada, travellers not considered fully vaccinated will be instructed to either take an arrival test at the border, or will receive a home test kit.  

Airport arrival testing:  

  • Unvaccinated travellers arriving by air must take a test before leaving the airport. At that time, they may get a home test kit to use for the Day 8 test.  

Land border arrival testing:  

  • If your border crossing doesn’t offer an on-site testing, or you decide not to use the on-site testing station, you need to follow the instructions in your home test kit to complete the test at your destination  

For more info on post-arrival testing, see: https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/flying-canada-checklist/covid-19-testing-travellers-coming-into-canada#arrival-testing  

For instructions on completing home test kits, see: https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/flying-canada-checklist/covid-19-testing-travellers-coming-into-canada#complete-test-kit  

 

What happens if I test positive on the post-arrival test? Do I turn back?   

As far as we know, the post-arrival tests are COVID-19 molecular tests and the test results are generally provided in 1 to 3 days. If you test positive, you will be required to self-isolate at your destination for 14 days. A government representative will call you to provide additional details and instructions. 

For more info, see: https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/flying-canada-checklist/covid-19-testing-travellers-coming-into-canada#test-results 

 

Will unvaccinated children aged 12-18 need to quarantine?  

This looks to be the case so far. We are currently seeking clarification. 

 

Is a tourist camp considered a group setting (that unvaccinated children under 12 years old must avoid)? 

From what we understand, the camps referred to in the guidelines are children’s camps. In a regular tourist camp situation, it will be the responsibility of the parents to ensure their children do not interact with groups of people at their vacation destination.  

 

Are tourism businesses liable if patrons test positive for COVID-19 post-arrival or don't follow public health protocol while in Ontario? 

As far as we know, as long as tourism businesses are doing their due diligence to follow all applicable COVID-19 health and safety protocols and inform visitors of their responsibilities, tourism businesses will not normally be held liable for visitors not following public health protocol.  

Tourism businesses are required to follow public health and safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes:  

  • Following the restrictions currently outlined in the Reopening Ontario Act, including abiding by capacity limits and requiring patrons to wear a face covering/mask and/or physically distance where applicable  

  • Following any local public health and safety bylaws. Businesses should check with their local public health unit website in case there are additional restrictions and requirements. 

  • Actively screen workers before they enter the workplace at the start of their shift. A worker and employee screening tool is available. 

  • Have a safety plan for how they will reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in their workplace. The safety plan must be posted in a place where it will be seen easily  

Travellers are required to follow COVID-19 public health and safety measures: 

  • If travellers violate instructions provided when entering Canada, this is an offence under the Quarantine Act and they could be subject to a monetary fine and/or imprisonment  

  • If travellers break mandatory quarantine or isolation requirements when there is a risk of causing death or serious bodily harm to another person, they could be subject to a monetary fine of up to $1,000,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 3 years  

  • The RCMP, provincial police, and local police are responsible for enforcing the Quarantine Act and can issue fines to travellers of up to $5,000 for non-compliance 

  • Individuals who violate the Reopening Ontario Act can face tickets for set fine amounts determined by the Ontario Court of Justice 

  • Under Ontario’s Health Protection and Promotion Act, individuals who are symptomatic and waiting for test results, or who have had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 are ordered to self-isolate. Failure to comply with the order is subject to a monetary fine.  

Liability protections exist if patrons test positive at the business location: 

 

Where can visitors get a COVID-19 test to return home?  

Requirements to present a negative COVID-19 test result prior to boarding a flight departing from Canada vary by country. Please check your specific country requirements.  

US visitors returning home will require a COVID-19 test to re-enter the US border by air. Rapid tests are accepted. If a trip is shorter than 3 days, a viral test taken in the US can be used to fulfill the US pre-entry test requirement as long as the test was taken no more than 3 days before the return flight to the US departs. If the return travel is delayed longer than 3 days after the test, the passenger will need to be retested before the return flight. There are currently no test requirements for re-entering the US border by land.  

COVID-19 testing options while in Ontario: 

 

For US Visitors: 

Are there testing requirements for US visitors returning to the US? 

A COVID-19 test is required for US visitors returning to the US by air, but the same pre-departure test taken in the US can be used if the trip is less than 3 days long (see below). However, as far as we know, there are no testing requirements for return by land.  

 

Can a COVID-19 test taken before departure from the US be used to return to the US if the out-of-country trip was less than 72 hours long?  

  • The COVID-19 test taken before departure from the United States can be used to return within the 3-day timeframe 

  • If a trip is shorter than 3 days, a viral test taken in the US can be used to fulfill the US pre-entry test requirement as long as the test was taken no more than 3 days before the return flight to the US departs.  

  • For example, if a passenger’s flight is at 1pm on a Friday, the passenger could board with a negative test that was taken any time on the prior Tuesday or after  

  • If the return travel is delayed longer than 3 days after the test, the passenger will need to be retested before the return flight 

  • Alternatively, travellers to the US may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel  

  • This applies only to air travel to the US, not entry by land  

  • For more info, see: