Published reports say the Federal government is expected to announce on Thursday, March 17 that travellers entering Canada will no longer have to take a pre-arrival COVID-19 test.

Canadian news networks, including the CBC and CTV, as well as Canadian Press, said Canada will remove testing requirements at airports and also at land border crossings as of April 1. Reports said passengers could still be subjected to random PCR testing at Canadian airports, and that all travellers will still have to use the ArriveCan app.

Canadian authorities last month said that, starting Feb. 28, 2022, Canadian residents and foreign travellers arriving in the country would be able to present a negative result from a rapid antigen test for entry to Canada, rather than more expensive and sometimes harder to find PCR-style or molecular tests.

Tourism officials argued that was still too big a barrier for travellers, and urged Ottawa to eliminate testing of all kinds. Initial reaction to the news was quite positive. “The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC)  is encouraged by news of the Government of Canada’s imminent announcement of the removal of all pre-travel testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers as of April 1, 2022,” said Beth Potter, President and CEO of TIAC. “Our industry was the first hit, the hardest hit, and will be the last to recover from the global pandemic.

We are hopeful this will effectively lay the foundation for the recovery of Canada’s tourism industry, which has a long way to go to rebuild itself back to the $105 billion economic powerhouse it was pre-pandemic. Canada is one of the most vaccinated, safest countries in the world to travel to, and we look forward to welcoming both business and leisure travellers.”

Writer Jim Byers

Jim Byers spent 30-plus years at the Toronto Star, serving as Travel Editor, City Hall Bureau Chief, Blue Jays correspondent and Olympics editor, where he led the Star's coverage at six Olympic Games. He now specializes in travel writing in Canada and around the world. He is a regular contributor to Bold Traveller, Zoomer Magazine, The Dallas News & Houston Chronicle.

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