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As of July 5th, some Canadians are exempt from certain travel restrictions

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As the province and the rest of the country continue to roll out vaccines and lift restrictions, the line between allowed and forbidden is becoming hazier and hazier. This is especially true when it comes to domestic and international travel.

I'm sure we've all allowed ourselves to daydream once or twice about that first trip we'll finally be able to take, the sights we'll see and even the people we'll meet.

But of course, like everything now, COVID-safe travel is new and uncharted territory. As such, our governments and officials have implemented certain rules and regulations to keep us all safe. Continue below to see the complete listing.


Getting tested to enter Canada

Pre-entry test requirements

All travelers 5 years of age or older, regardless of citizenship, must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result. You don't require a test to fly within Canada.

Starting July 5, there are some exemptions for eligible fully vaccinated travelers.

If you're driving to land border crossing, you must take a test in the United States within 72 hours of your planned entry into Canada.

If you're flying to Canada, you must take a test within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time of your flight to Canada. Airlines will refuse boarding to travelers who are unable to provide a valid molecular test result.

If you have a connecting flight

the test must be conducted within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time of your last direct flight to Canada.

You may need to schedule the test in your transit city.

All travelers must:

provide one of the accepted types of tests, not an antigen test

keep proof of your test results for the 14-day period that begins on the day you enter Canada

If you’ve recovered from and continue to test positive for COVID-19

Persons who have recovered from COVID-19 can continue to test positively long after they have recovered and are no longer infectious.

Travelers who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 must provide proof of a positive COVID-19 molecular test conducted between 14 and 90 days prior to your scheduled flight.

Accepted types of tests

These tests are considered acceptable molecular tests:

  • PCR - Polymerase chain reaction

  • RT-PCR – reverse transcription real-time PCR

  • Quantitative PCR (qPCR)

  • Nucleic acid test (NAT) or Nucleic acid amplification test (NAATs)

  • Reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP)

  • Isothermal amplification

  • Droplet digital PCR or digital droplet PCR (ddPCR)

  • Transcription-mediated amplification (TMA)

  • RNA (Ribonucleic acid)

  • Ct (cycle threshold)


  • Sequencing

  • Next generational sequencing (NGS) or whole-genome sequencing (WGS)

  • Oxford Nanopore sequencing (LamPORE)

  • Detection of the N gene

  • Detection of Orf1a/b

  • Detection of the S gene

  • Detection of the E gene

  • Detection of the RdRp gene

These tests use methods such as a nasopharyngeal (NP) swab, nose swab, or saliva sample. At this time, proof of having a vaccine will not replace a negative test result.

Learn more about COVID-19 diagnostic tests

The Government of Canada will notify travelers should it become mandatory to obtain COVID-19 molecular tests from specific accredited laboratories or facilities.

Providing proof of your result

You must present an accepted test result (paper or electronic proof) which must include:

  • Traveler name and date of birth

  • Name and civic address of the laboratory/clinic/facility that administered the test

  • The date on which the test was conducted

  • The type of test conducted

  • The test result

You must show proof of your test results even if you:

  • have tested negative for COVID-19 previous to the 72 hour period

  • have been vaccinated for COVID-19

  • recovered from COVID-19 and no longer test positive

  • recovered from COVID-19 and continue to test positive

At this time, travelers should have their test performed at a reputable laboratory or testing facility (i.e., one recognized by the local government or accredited by a third party, such as a professional organization or international standards organization).

Who doesn’t need a pre-entry test?

Starting July 5, there are some exemptions for eligible fully vaccinated travelers.

Find out if your travel is exempt from the pre-entry test requirement

Arrival testing

Create an account for arrival testing

You must create an account to perform your arrival test and access your results. Create an account in advance to save time at the border.

Use the same email address you used for ArriveCAN.

Airport test providers

You may be required to get tested before exiting the airport. To speed you through testing at the airport, we encourage you to register in advance with the testing provider:

  • Montreal – Biron Groupe Santé

  • Toronto – Switch Health

  • Calgary – Government of Alberta

  • Vancouver – LifeLabs

Land border test providers

If you’re entering Canada at the land border crossing, you may get 2 COVID-19 home test kits: one to use on the day you arrive in Canada and another to use on Day-8 of your mandatory quarantine.

Where the testing provider permits, create an account for your test kit provider in advance to save time at the border:

Home test kit providers by province

Taking your arrival test

When you enter Canada, you'll be instructed to either take an arrival test at the border or receive a home test kit. You may also get a kit to use on Day-8 of your mandatory quarantine.

Airport arrival testing

You must take a test before leaving the airport. At that time, you may get a home test kit to use for your test on Day-8 of your mandatory quarantine.

Following the arrival test, you will need to go directly to your reserved hotel to await test results.

Land border arrival testing

Some border crossings offer on-site testing stations to help you with your home test kit. At these locations, you’ll be guided through specimen collection, including how to take a nasal swab yourself and how to package the specimen for testing.

If your border crossing doesn't offer on-site testing, you’ll need to follow the instructions in your home test kit to complete the test at your place of quarantine.

Who doesn’t need an arrival test?

Starting July 5, there are some exemptions for eligible fully vaccinated travelers.

Find out if your travel is exempt from the arrival test requirement.

Fines and consequences of failing to complete the testing requirements

All travelers will receive calls from a live agent or automated system and you may also be visited at your place of quarantine by a Screening Officer to verify your compliance.