Travellers arriving from China, Hong Kong, and Macao must present negative COVID-19 test result: Canadian government

Vimal Sivakumar
Published: January 2, 2023

This move comes in response to a recent surge of COVID-19 in the country.

Starting January 5, 2023, a new temporary measure will require all inbound air travellers above the age of one to present a negative COVID-19 test result prior to boarding their flight to Canada from the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, or Macao.

As part of this measure, to be in place for an initial period of 30 days, Canada requires that the result presented by the traveller be from a test taken no more than two days before the traveller’s date of departure.

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According to the Canadian government, “the test could be either a negative molecular (such as a PCR test), or a negative antigen test that has documentation to show that it has been monitored by a telehealth service or an accredited laboratory or testing provider.”

In place of a negative test result, the Government of Canada will also allow travellers who tested positive more than 10 days before their departure (but no more than 90 days) to provide documentation of their prior positive.

Note: Travellers who are unable to provide a negative test result or documentation of a prior positive result will be denied boarding. In addition, the new measures will apply to all incoming air travellers from the region, regardless of nationality and vaccination status.

Added measures for increased protection from COVID-19

Further to the above-described temporary changes for travellers from the People’s Republic of China, “when arriving at Primary Inspection Kiosks and eGates, or when making a customs declaration using the optional Advance [Canada Border Services Agency] CBSA Declaration prior to arriving at airports in Canada, travellers will be asked if they have travelled to the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong or Macao in the last 10 days”, says the Canadian government.

If they answer yes, CBSA officers will provide those travellers with additional public health information on the transmission of COVID-19, personal protective measures and what to do if they develop symptoms of COVID-19.

Note: This applies to air travellers only, not to those arriving by land.

Building on this, the Public Health Agency of Canada is also introducing a wastewater testing project with aircrafts at Vancouver International Airport, and expanding the existing project with Toronto Pearson International Airport, to assess the COVID-19 prevalence from various regions of the world.

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