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Negative COVID-19 Test Required For Travellers Crossing Canada-U.S. Land Border

Canada is extending the requirements for travellers to provide a negative COVID-19 test to land border crossers as early as February. 15.

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, told Canadians that the test must have been done within Seventy-two (72) hours, and it should be a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test.

Travellers who come to the border without demonstrating or showing proof of a negative COVID-19 test could be denied entry or face fines of up to $3,000.

These measures are a bit similar to the compulsory testing that was put in place for air travellers in January.

Travellers landing by plane will also need to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival and will need to tarry in a hotel for three days while awaiting results. The prime minister previously said that this would cost travellers an estimated sum of $2,000.

Hotels will be needed to provide transportation to and from the airport and offer food to the traveller’s room, according to instructions for hotels participating in the new measures on the government website. The starting date for these new measures has not yet been released.

These tests are in addition to the mandatory fourteen (14) day quarantine order on all incoming travellers. This fourteen days period is inclusive of the three days air travellers must spend in a hotel. Travellers to Canada are also required to download the ArriveCAN app.

Only four Canadian international airports are accepting travellers: Calgary International Airport, Vancouver International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, and Montreal-Trudeau International Airport. Canadian airlines have also discontinued services to Mexico and the Caribbean.

International travel was only responsible for two (2) percent of COVID-19 cases in Canada thanks in part due to travel restrictions, Trudeau said.

Travel has been seriously reduced to Canada, both by air and land. As of January 31, there was a year-over-year decrease of roughly eighty-eight (88) per cent in the number of land border crossings, and a Ninety-two (92) per cent decrease in air travel crossings, according to Canadian Border Services Agency travel information.

Foreign nationals are allowed to enter Canada only for essential reasons or to reunite with family. Canada’s travel restrictions are presently in place until Feb. 21 and are expected to be renewed. Canada’s borders have been subject to a series of travel restrictions since March 2020.