Canada set to remove mandatory COVID-19 tests for travellers from China

Mar 16 2023, 8:34 pm

The federal government announced on Thursday that it is set to remove mandatory COVID-19 tests for travellers from China.

The health measure, which included pre-boarding and arrival screenings, first went into effect on January 5 as COVID cases surged in China.

On Thursday, the Government of Canada issued a news release stating that as of 12:01 am EDT on March 17, 2023, air travellers to Canada on flights originating from the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, or Macao will no longer be required to provide evidence of a COVID-19 test result before boarding.

This means that there will no longer be any federal COVID-19 border measures in place after that time.

“As the pandemic has evolved, so has our response,” said Marco Mendicino, minister of public safety.

“The dedicated employees of the Canada Border Services Agency are our country’s front line, and I want to thank them for working with public health authorities to keep everyone safe. We continue to closely monitor the situation and will adapt as necessary because that’s what Canadians expect.”

The lifting of the measure was contributed to data from China, the international community, and wastewater sampling conducted in Canada, having not detected any new variants of concern.

“In addition, the COVID-19 situation in both China and Canada has improved, and the Canadian healthcare systems remain stable,” the federal government added.

Canadian doctors previously condemned the mandatory testing, some calling it “racist” and “xenophobic.”

Laine MitchellLaine Mitchell

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