Canadian border testing requirement to be relaxed April 1

The Canadian government has confirmed that it will drop a requirement that fully-vaccinated travelers test negative for COVID-19 before crossing the border. The change will take effect April 1.

All travelers, regardless of vaccination status, are still required to submit information using the ArriveCAN mobile app or website before arriving to Canada.

In a news release, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said the adjustment is being made because of a number of factors, "including Canada’s high vaccination rate, the increasing availability and use of rapid tests to detect infection, decreasing hospitalizations and growing domestic availability of treatments for COVID-19."

Duclos said the government will consider further easing of measures as vaccination levels and healthcare system capacity improve.

Most people age 5 and older who are not vaccinated are still not allowed to enter Canada. Exceptions may include people from border communities entering Canada for work or everyday functions, people receiving essential medical services or treatments, and those attending funerals or visiting critically ill family members.

The border closure and subsequent vaccination and testing requirements have been a challenge to the tourism industry, especially resorts in northwestern Ontario that receive most of their visitors from the U.S. Unvaccinated travelers can still not visit Canada for tourism, fishing, entertainment or leisure.

"After a challenging two years, we all want the Canadian economy, including the tourism sector, to rebound and grow. We in government have been listening to the concerns of tourism businesses across the country," Tourism Minister Randy Boissonnault said.

Fully-vaccinated travelers will still be subject to random testing, but a quarantine is not required for those selected for the random testing.