Canada to begin COVID-19 testing at land borders today

Feb 22 2021, 6:26 am

It is now mandatory for travellers arriving at Canada’s land borders to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test.

Unless exempted, travellers must present proof of negative test results within 72 hours before entry into Canada or proof of a positive COVID-19 test conducted between 14 and 90 days before arrival.

In a press release, the Government of Canada says “further testing” for travellers at land port of entry are part of the country’s new requirements as “new COVID-19 variant detections are increasing.”

As of February 22, to meet day one arrival requirements, the COVID-19 tests can be taken either at the traveller’s quarantine location or at a border testing site.

To help travellers meet the new mandatory requirement upon entry into Canada, self-swab kits will be handed out at all 117 land points of entry across Canada. There will be on-site testing provided at five high-volume land ports as of Monday, and an additional 11 ports by March 4.

The kit will include instructions on how and when to collect their second required test on day 10 of their 14-day quarantine.

The testing sites are to be operated by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) with COVID-19 tests being administered by PHAC officers and Canadian Red Cross personnel.

“The measures we are taking at the border will help us prevent travel-related cases of COVID-19 in our communities,” says Health Minister Patty Hajdu. “These testing requirements at our land border will also help us detect and address any cases caused by variants of concern. While our government has taken strong action to respond to COVID-19, we all have a part to play in stopping the spread. Canadians should not be travelling now.”

The five high-volume ports of entry will offer on-site testing as of February 22:

  • St. Bernard de Lacolle (Highway 15), QC
  • Queenston-Lewiston Bridge, ON
  • Douglas, B.C.
  • Coutts, AB
  • St. Stephen 3rd Bridge, NB

The additional 11 high-volume ports of entry will offer on-site testing beginning March 4, 2021:

  • Ambassador Bridge, ON
  • Fort Erie (Peace Bridge), ON
  • Windsor-Detroit Tunnel, ON
  • Sarnia (Blue Water Bridge), ON
  • Pacific Highway, BC
  • Niagara Falls Rainbow Bridge, ON
  • Lansdowne (Thousand Islands Bridge), ON
  • St-Armand/Philipsburg, QC
  • Huntingdon, BC
  • Emerson, MB
  • Stanstead, QC

The government says failure to provide accurate information is an offence under the Quarantine Act. Violating any quarantine or isolation instructions provided to travellers by a screening officer or quarantine officer when entering Canada is an offence under the act and could lead to “serious penalties,” including six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines.

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