COVID-19 AND TRAVEL
Update: January 06, 2021
The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, is requiring that, effective January 7, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. EST, all air passengers five years of age or older will be required to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling from another country to Canada. This implementation date provides all airlines, both foreign and domestic, adequate time to comply with the new requirements.
Documentation of a negative laboratory test result must be presented to the airline prior to boarding a flight to Canada. The test must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (or PCR) test and must be taken within 72 hours prior to the traveller’s scheduled departure to Canada.
Anyone who receives a negative test result and is authorized to enter Canada must still complete the full, mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Transport Canada has attempted to respond to some questions in response to the new entry rules effective January 7/21
Q. What will happen if travellers can’t get a COVID-19 test in the country they are in?
Can they still board a flight and get tested in Canada? Is there another option in Canada when they land if they are not able to get a COVID-19 test abroad?
Transport Canada (TC): Persons who are travelling from a country where PCR testing is unavailable will be required to report to a designated Public Health Agency of Canada quarantine facility for the duration of their mandatory 14-day quarantine. Delays in obtaining test results does not apply.
Q: Can the airline refuse boarding if a traveller doesn’t have / can’t get a test?
TC: Yes. Unless otherwise exempt, presentation of a valid negative test to the airline will be a condition of boarding a flight to Canada and therefore, an airline will be required to refuse boarding to travellers that are unable to demonstrate this.
Q: Who will pay the cost of a PCR test abroad?
TC: Travellers should contact their travel insurance provider (whether they have a group, an individual or a credit-card type of insurance) to find out what their COVID-19 related medical expenses coverage include.
For travellers who do not have travel insurance, we strongly recommend they get insurance immediately and make sure that it covers for COVID-19-related medical expenses, other non-COVID-19 emergency-related expenses, as well as trip cancellation and interruption. Read the fine prints and verify the terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and requirements of your insurance policy.
Otherwise, travellers are expected to cover any cost related to being tested and obtaining the proof of their test result.
Q. Which COVID-19 tests are official/acceptable?
TC: The test result must be from a lab accredited by an external organization (e.g., a government, a professional association or ISO accreditation). Only written or electronic proof of a negative lab test result (PCR test) conducted within 72 hours prior to boarding a flight to Canada will be accepted.
Q. Is the 72 hours starting at the beginning of the trip or the scheduled time arriving in Canada? Is the time related to the time of the test, or when the results are provided?
TC: A COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test must have been conducted within 72 hours prior to boarding a flight to Canada. In other words, the specimen should be within three days prior to the flight, with the expectation that the results will come in the intervening period
As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise globally, the landscape of travel is evolving daily, leaving many of us with questions about our travel plans.
Most often we are asked if plans can be changed or cancelled.
If you have travel reservations booked with McTavish Travel and are unsure if you can cancel without penalty, please contact us for details.
How Can I Stay Informed?
To check if your destination is or was affected by the COVID-19 virus:
If you plan to travel, it is advisable to register your plans with the Registration of Canadians Abroad website.
Registration of Canadians Abroad is a free service that allows the Government of Canada to notify you in case of an emergency abroad or a personal emergency at home. The service also enables you to receive important information before or during a natural disaster or civil unrest.
If you are booking your international travel with McTavish, you will receive notifications throughout your journey to keep you apprised of travel advisories affecting your destination.
Will Travel Insurance Cover Me?
We thank you for your business and will continue to work with you to ensure the safest travel possible!