Wednesday, June 29th 2022

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2021
4
December
A summary of what we know (and don't know) about the latest changes for air travel



"Who will now be tested upon arrival into Canada?"

All air travellers who have been in a country other than the U.S. in the past 14 days even if they arrive in Canada via the U.S

"How will this work? What about connecting flights?"

There have not been many specific details released but it's likely going to be a similar process to what we saw earlier in the summer, and during the Alberta pilot program.

When you arrive in Canada you'll either be asked to take a test in the airport or given a test kit to take home.

You then quarantine at home for approximately 24-48 hours until you receive your result. (If for some reason results have not been received after 4 days, a person can leave quarantine to take another test with another provider.)

For those with connecting domestic flights, it's very likely you'll be allowed to connect to your intended destination in Canada (nothing about this has been mentioned yet officially, but that's how it's worked for everything in the past except for the 'mandatory hotel quarantine' period, and there's no evidence of Canada going back to that).

You just need to indicate this in your quarantine plan in ArriveCAN.

"Has this started yet?"

Not yet, it will take a little time to get logistics, staffing, and supplies sorted out. But it can technically start at any time and likely very soon.

"Will this arrival testing be free?"

Yes (well, your tax dollars at work).

"Is there anything I can do to make the arrival testing process faster?"

You may be able to save time by pre-registering for the arrival testing in the province that you're flying into.

I have the links for this in Step 3 here, from earlier in the year.

But it remains to be seen if the same companies and websites will be used for pre-registration of arrival testing this time around.

"Do I still need to take the pre-departure test (PCR, NAAT, or RT-LAMP) within 72 hours of my scheduled departure time to get back into Canada?"

Yes, nothing about that has changed.

"What if the country I've been in recently is Botswana, Egypt, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, or Zimbabwe?"

The rules are different and more strict. See the following page: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/news/2021/11/government-of-canada-introduces-additional-measures-to-address-covid-19-omicron-variant-of-concern.html

See the rules under 'Quick Facts'.

For U.S. entry by air, you now need a test from within '1 day' instead of '3 days'

Many Canadian media outlets are incorrectly reporting that your test needs to be within '24 hours' of your scheduled departure time to the U.S.

It is actually '1 day', which is different. The U.S. has always used 'days' while Canada has always used the more strict definition of 'hours'. You can find the official CDC order here.

For example, if your flight to the U.S. is at 5 PM on Friday, your test can be taken any time on Thursday.

The U.S. continues to accept the antigen test (the only realistic option for most Canadians now), which generally takes about 20 minutes for results.

When does the '1 day' change go into effect?

All flights departing after 12:01 a.m. ET December 6.











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3 Responses to "A summary of what we know (and don't know) about the latest changes for air travel"

  1. Corinne on December 4th, 2021

    Which test will travellers take upon arrival into Canada - antigen or pcr?

  2. Eric Tang on December 4th, 2021

    Does anyone know what the rules are for kids under 5 years old going to and coming back from the US?

  3. Chris_Myden on December 13th, 2021

    Corinne: It's a PCR test.

    Eric:

    Flying to the U.S.
    - Children under 2 do not need a test result.
    - Children under 18 years of age do not need to provide proof of vaccination (but still need a test result, if they're over 2).
    - Unvaccinated children under 18 travelling with vaccinated adults do not need to quarantine after arrival

    Flying to Canada
    - Children under 5 years of age do not need the pre-departure Canada entry test (PCR, NAAT, or LAMP).

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