Antigen tests to be allowed for Canadian travel

People travelling to Canada will soon have the option of taking a rapid antigen test prior to their arrival, rather than a molecular test.

Currently, antigen tests are not an option. People crossing the Canadian border must present a negative result from a molecular (PCR) test conducted within 72 hours of their arrival. PCR tests are more difficult to find and results sometimes do not arrive within 72 hours.

Starting February 28, travellers will also have the option of presenting a negative result from a rapid antigen test. The antigen test will need to have been conducted no more than 24 hours prior to arrival at the border and must be conducted by a laboratory or health care provider.

"Today’s announcement is an important step in signaling that Canada’s visitor economy is opening up, welcoming travelers for an all important summer season," said Randy Boissonault, Minister of Tourism.

The vaccination requirement for all travellers to Canada will remain in place for now.

Canada is also dropping a requirement that travellers who are selected for randomized testing stay in quarantine until their results arrive.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.