The Government of Canada has announced that all air travelers two years of age and older arriving on flights from the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, or Macao will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within two days of their departure.

This requirement began on January 5, 2023 and will apply to all air travelers, regardless of nationality or vaccination status.

The test can be either a negative molecular test or a negative antigen test that has documentation showing it was monitored by a telehealth service, accredited laboratory, or testing provider. Passengers who tested positive for COVID-19 more than 10 days but no more than 90 days before their departure flight can provide documentation of their prior positive test in place of a negative test result.

Airlines must receive the negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of a positive test result taken within the prior 10-90 days before the traveler boards the plane, or the traveler will be denied boarding.

Additional Measures for Air Travelers from China, Hong Kong, and Macao

When arriving at Primary Inspection Kiosks or eGates or making a customs declaration, air travelers from the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, or Macao will also be asked if they have traveled to these locations in the last 10 days.

If they have, they will be provided with additional public health information on COVID-19 transmission, personal protective measures, and what to do if they develop symptoms of COVID-19. This applies only to air travelers, not those arriving by land.

COVID-19 Monitoring in Canada

The Public Health Agency of Canada is piloting a wastewater testing project at Vancouver International Airport and expanding an existing project at Toronto Pearson International Airport to assess COVID-19 prevalence and monitor for novel variants of concern. The Government of Canada also has a monitoring program in place with provinces and territories to identify COVID-19 variants in Canada, including the Omicron variant of concern and its sub-lineages, through genomic sequencing and wastewater monitoring.

Positive test samples for genomic sequencing are obtained from domestic provincial, territorial, and federal molecular tests from a variety of sources to test for emerging variants. All travelers are strongly encouraged to wear well-constructed and well-fitted masks during travel on planes and in airports or other crowded indoor settings, and to not travel if they have COVID-19 symptoms. If travelers become sick while traveling and are still sick when they arrive in Canada, they should inform a flight attendant or border services officer and follow the instructions provided.

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