OTTAWA, ON – If you’re planning to travel, despite the federal advisory issued this week, you’ll have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test again when you come back into Canada.
That regardless of the length of time you plan on being out of the country.
The requirement is for a pre-arrival PCR test result for all travellers. The federal government had relaxed that requirement for short trips of 72 hours or less a few weeks back, however that is not longer the case.
The concern is around the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Federal Health Minister, Jean Yves-Duclos says it’s important to note that the pre-arrival test will need to be taken in a country other than Canada.
He also repeated Ottawa’s advice for Canadians to avoid any non-essential travel at this time. “We do not want you to be stranded or to be sick abroad,” Duclos says. “Once you have left the country, once you are stranded, once you are sick, there is very little the Canadian government can do to help you!”
Meanwhile, Ottawa is also dropping its ban on flights arriving from the ten African countries where Omicron was initially discovered. That will be lifted on Saturday, December 18.
Duclos says while the feds recognize this initial emergency measure created controversy, they did believe it was necessary to slow the arrival of Omicron in Canada.
He says given the current situation the ban has served its purpose and is no longer necessary.
***With files from Mo Fahim