The Canadian government has announced that it is changing the testing requirements for Canadians returning to the country after a brief trip, beginning November 30.
The new rules allow Canadians to travel abroad for 72 hours or less without requiring a molecular test to return to Canada. Travellers who leave the country for more than 72 hours will still be required to show proof of a negative molecular test. This new exemption also extends to children aged 12 and under.
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The updated regulations come as the country’s current COVID-19 travel restrictions are set to expire on Sunday. Reports that the federal government would drop testing requirements for short trips broke earlier this week.
(1/5) The current Canadian border restrictions and entry requirements will remain in effect until November 21, 2021.
— Health Canada and PHAC (@GovCanHealth) September 19, 2021
Canadians were previously required to have a negative molecular COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of their return to Canada. This rule applied to Canadians who were crossing the US border for a day trip. Many were critical of this plan as Canadians would get a COVID-19 test in Canada before their departure and show the same test upon their return.
In addition to the testing regulations, beginning November 30, the country will expand the list of accepted vaccines. Additional vaccines will include Sinopharm, Sinovac, and COVAXIN, which are approved for use by the World Health Organization.
Beginning on November 30, all travellers using federally regulated travel will need to be fully vaccinated. There was a month-long grace period to allow Canadians to get fully vaccinated.
In January 2022, new rules will affect some people who had previously been exempt from travel restrictions. As of January 15, travellers reuniting with family, international students 18 and older, professional and amateur athletes, people with a work permit, and essential service providers will need to be fully vaccinated.