Border update: Travel advisory downgraded to Level 2; antigen tests OK for pre-arrival; travel rules eased for unvaccinated kids
Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, Feb. 15, 2022

Border update: Travel advisory downgraded to Level 2; antigen tests OK for pre-arrival; travel rules eased for unvaccinated kids

OTTAWA — The federal government has announced updated border measures for fully vaccinated travellers, taking effect for international travel as of Feb. 28, 2022.

The changes are four-fold …

  • First, as of Feb. 28, 2022, there will be a return to randomized PCR testing for travellers arriving at Canada’s airports, the way it was before omicron. Fully vaccinated travellers who have been selected for randomized PCR tests will no longer be required to quarantine while waiting for their test results.
  • Second, travel restrictions will be lifted for unvaccinated children under the age of 12, who are travelling with fully vaccinated adults. Kids will no longer need to wait / self-isolate before returning to school, daycare, camps, etc. These younger travellers will also no longer be subject to testing.
  • Third, travellers will have the option of taking a rapid antigen test, instead of a PCR test, to meet the pre-arrival COVID test requirement. The antigen test must be authorized by the country in which it was purchased, and administered by a lab, healthcare entity or telehealth service. The antigen test must be taken no more than 24 hours ahead of the traveller’s scheduled flight.
  • Fourth, the federal government will decrease the travel advisory from Level 3 to Level 2, where Canadians who are travelling are asked to exercise prudence while travelling abroad.

Minister Duclos said depending on how things go, further easing of restrictions could happen in the coming weeks, and eventually, testing requirements could be dropped, he said.

Travellers must still use the ArriveCAN app, said Duclos. The eased measures come into effect Feb. 28 for fully vaccinated travellers. Unvaccinated travellers are still subject to all the usual restrictions.

Border update: Travel advisory downgraded to Level 2; antigen tests OK for pre-arrival; travel rules eased for unvaccinated kids

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, Feb. 15, 2022

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, also present at the briefing, said: “Today is a great day for Canadian travellers and tourism.”

Currently only 18 of Canada’s airports are able to receive international flights.

Minister Alghabra said that effective Feb. 28, all of Canada’s remaining airports will be able to welcome international flights.

He also promised an update on cruising soon, and said work is underway to ensure that Canada’s 2022 cruise season would be saved. The federal government’s ban on cruise ships in Canadian waters lifted in November 2021.

Minister of Tourism Randy Boissonnault had this to say at the briefing: “Today’s announcement is an important step in signalling that Canada’s visitor economy is opening up.” To everyone in the tourism and travel industries, he said: “We know how long have have waited for this day. We know how hard it has been. And we have  your backs, and we will continue to have your backs. And brighter days are ahead.”