COVID-19 testing for travellers

COVID-19 – Global travel advisory

Effective December 15, 2021: Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada, regardless of your vaccination status. Omicron travel health notice

On this page

  • Getting tested to enter Canada
  • Arrival testing
  • Complete your test kit
  • Test results
  • Getting tested to enter Canada

    If you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller, follow the specific pre-entry test requirements for fully vaccinated travellers.

    Who can come to Canada

    Foreign nationals who don't qualify as fully vaccinated will only be allowed to enter in specific circumstances:

    Find out if you can enter Canada

    Who needs a pre-entry test

    If you’ve already had COVID-19 and recovered

    If you are now symptom-free, you can provide proof of a positive COVID-19 molecular test when crossing the border, instead of a negative one.

    Flying to Canada - when to take your test

    You must take a molecular test within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time of your flight to Canada.

    If you have a connecting flight:

    Flying from India

    Direct flights

    If you’re taking a direct flight from India to Canada, you’ll need proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test from the Genestrings Laboratory at the Delhi airport. The test must be taken within 18 hours of the scheduled departure of your direct flight to Canada.

    Indirect flights

    If you’re taking an indirect flight from India to Canada, you’ll still need proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test, within 72 hours of your final flight to Canada. The test must be taken in the country from which your flight to Canada will depart.

    Flying from Morocco

    Direct flights

    If you’re taking a direct flight from Morocco to Canada, your pre-entry test result must be presented as a Moroccan COVID-19 PCR Test Certificate issued by the Government of Morocco.

    The certificate may be for a negative result taken within 72 hours of scheduled departure or a positive result between 15 and 180 days before departure (starting January 15, 2022, between 11 and 180 days ago).

    If you tested positive in another country prior to arrival in Morocco, you must provide proof of a positive molecular test result from 15 and 180 days before your departure (starting January 15, 2022, between 11 and 180 days ago).

    Indirect flights

    If you’re taking an indirect flight from Morocco to Canada, you’ll still need proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test, within 72 hours of your final flight to Canada. The test must be taken in the country from which your flight to Canada will depart.

    Airlines may refuse boarding to travellers who are unable to provide a valid negative molecular test result or proof of a previous positive molecular test result taken between 15 and 180 days ago (starting January 15, 2022, between 11 and 180 days ago).

    Arriving by car, bus, boat, ferry or train

    You must take a molecular test outside of Canada within 72 hours of your planned entry into Canada.

    Who doesn't need a pre-entry test

    Accepted types of molecular tests

    These tests use methods such as a nasopharyngeal (NP) swab, nose swab, or saliva sample.

    Other acceptable types of tests

    Providing proof of your result

    When you arrive at the border, you must present an accepted negative molecular test result (paper or electronic proof) or proof of a previous positive molecular test result taken between 15 and 180 days (starting January 15, 2022, between 11 and 180 days ago) that includes:

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

    Positive results on your pre-entry test

    A positive pre-entry test result within 72 hours of your planned entry is not a valid test result for entry to Canada.

    Foreign nationals with symptoms or with a positive result from less than 15 days before arriving (starting January 15, 2022, 11 days) will be denied entry.

    Canadians: To avoid being fined $5,000 per traveller (plus surcharges), wait to enter Canada until the 15th day (starting January 15, 2022, 11th day) after your positive test result. If you had symptoms without a positive result, wait until the symptoms have ended and you have a valid negative pre-entry test result.

    If you have symptoms or a positive result, we recommend postponing your travel until you have:

    Testing locations

    Testing facilities and expenses

    Select the country you’re coming from. Not all countries have testing facilities information available yet.

    Canadian government offices abroad do not provide medical services (including administering COVID-19 testing) or cover medical expenses for Canadian citizens abroad. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

    Arriving without an accepted COVID-19 test

    If you don't provide proof of a valid COVID-19 test

    Foreign nationals without a valid negative pre-entry COVID-19 molecular test result, proof of a previous positive test result or who have symptoms of COVID-19, will be denied entry into Canada.

    Fraudulent test results

    All travellers arriving in Canada are required by Canadian law to respond truthfully to all questions. Providing false information to a Government of Canada official upon entry to Canada is a serious offence and may result in penalties and/or criminal charges. Foreign nationals who provide false information could also be denied entry to the country and/or be barred from returning to Canada.

    Making a false declaration when boarding a flight to Canada, including the presentation of a fraudulent test result, carries the potential for up to $5,000 in administrative monetary penalties under the Aeronautics Act, in addition to a fine of $5,000 plus additional surcharges under the Quarantine Act, if the same false document is also presented upon entry into Canada.

    Violating any instructions provided when you enter Canada or putting others at risk of a serious communicable disease are offences under the Quarantine Act and could lead to up to three years in prison and/or up to $1 million in fines.

    Arrival testing for vaccinated travellers

    Arrival testing and quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers are different than those for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travellers.

    Arrival testing for fully vaccinated travellers

    Air travellers: register in advance for arrival testing

    You may be required to get tested before exiting the airport. To speed you through the process, register in advance with the testing provider for the airport you will arrive at.

    When you register, use the same email address you used for your ArriveCAN account.

    Register with airport test providers
    Land border test providers

    Starting October 29, 2021, the swab stations located at 17 land points of entry stopped operations.

    When you arrive at a land border crossing, you’ll be given a self-swab kit to complete. You’ll need to follow the instructions in your self-swab kit to complete the test at your destination.

    Taking your arrival test

    When you enter Canada, you'll be instructed to either take an arrival test at the border, or receive a self-swab kit.

    You will also get a kit to use on Day-8 of your mandatory quarantine (except for travellers who are only passing through on their way to or from Alaska).

    There is no fee for the arrival test.

    Complete your self-swab kit

    Who doesn’t need an arrival test

    Fully vaccinated travellers only need to do an arrival test if they are selected for randomized arrival testing.

    Randomized arrival testing for fully vaccinated travellers

    Travellers who provide a positive COVID-19 test result taken within 14 to 180 days of arrival into Canada may be exempt from arrival testing.

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

    Fines and consequences of failing to complete the testing requirements

    All travellers 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.

    You are under a legal obligation to take the arrival and Day-8 tests. Failure to comply with the requirements of the Quarantine Act and emergency orders made under this Act is an offence and could lead to fines of up to $750,000 or imprisonment. If you do not take the tests, you may also be transferred to a designated quarantine facility.

    Complete your test kit

    Your kit contains all of the instructions.

    Do not open your swab or tube until you are instructed to do so. This can cause contamination, or result in a delay in receiving your test result.

    Your test kit service provider is based on where you entered the country. For additional instructions, or contact information for your service provider, select the province you entered Canada or select if you are driving between Alaska and the continental United States:

    Travellers driving between Alaska and the continental United States

    If you’re driving between Alaska and the continental United States and you come through a border crossing without a testing station, you must:

    Follow the instructions provided to find a drop-off location along your route.

    British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Yukon

    LifeLabs manages COVID-19 testing for arriving travellers.

    If you haven't already done so, you must create an account to perform your home test and access your results. You must use the same email address you used for ArriveCAN.

    If you usually use Internet Explorer as your web browser, use a different browser, or contact LifeLabs.

    You must have internet access to:

    Wait to connect to a LifeLabs technician before you open the test tube.

    If you don’t have internet access

    Contact LifeLabs and a customer service representative will be able to advise you.

    Collection can be done over the phone, if needed.

    In British Columbia, staff are available at select locations to perform the test for you.

    You may bring your test kit and:

    Contact LifeLabs to receive your test results.

    Tests must be completed with LifeLabs

    Your test must be completed using the LifeLabs kit provided. If you didn’t get the vaccinated traveller exemption, you must stay in quarantine until you have received a negative test result, AND your 14-day quarantine period is complete.

    If you don’t have a test kit

    Contact LifeLabs if you didn’t receive a kit, or you lost or damaged your kit.

    Invalid or indeterminate test results

    If you receive an indeterminate result on your test, you must complete another test. LifeLabs should automatically courier another test kit to you.

    Contact LifeLabs right away to ensure a kit has been sent.

    If you didn’t get the vaccinated traveller exemption, you must stay in quarantine until you receive a negative result from your repeat test and you have completed your mandatory 14 day quarantine.

    If you don’t receive the results

    Contact LifeLabs directly if you haven't received your test result.

    If you didn’t get the vaccinated traveller exemption, you can only leave your place of quarantine if you receive a negative result from your test and you have completed your full 14-day quarantine.

    Drop off location information for travellers in Saskatchewan

    In Saskatchewan, you can arrange to drop off your sample the same day or within the next day at any one of the participating Shoppers Drug Mart locations. Before your visit to Shoppers Drug Mart, please ensure you call to confirm the store hours. If you arrive at a participating Shoppers Drug Mart location with a pre-packaged sample to drop off, please go directly to the pharmacy department and speak to a team member there to ensure your sample is shipped for testing. Visit LifeLabs for more information.

    OR

    You can book an appointment for a curbside pickup at any one of the participating patient service centres by calling the LifeLabs Saskatchewan customer support centre at 1-888-333-0222. Upon arrival, call the patient service centre and a Lifelabs team member will come outside to collect your pre-packaged sample.

    No FedEx pick-up in your area?

    If you didn’t qualify for a FedEx pick-up, you can contact LifeLabs to make alternative courier arrangements or arrange to drop off your sample at a participating location.

    LifeLabs: Pick-up or drop off of collection

    Contact LifeLabs

    Phone

    Email

    Website

    Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia

    Switch Health manages COVID-19 testing for arriving travellers.

    If you haven't already done so, you must create an account to perform your home test and access your results. Use the same email address you used for ArriveCAN.

    If you usually use Internet Explorer as your web browser, use a different browser, or contact Switch Health.

    You must have internet access to:

    Wait to connect to a Switch Health nurse before you open the test tube.

    Watch a video on how to use your home test kit

    Log in or create a Switch Health account to use your home test kit

    If you don’t have internet access

    Contact Switch Health and a customer service representative will be able to create an account for you and add you to a call-back time slot.

    During your call-back, a nurse will guide you through the home test process over the phone. This includes:

    • taking a nasal swab
    • packaging the sample
    • arranging a courier to pick up the sample for delivery to the laboratory

    Contact Switch Health to receive your test results.

    You must stay in your place of quarantine until you receive a negative test result from the test and you have completed your mandatory 14-day quarantine.

    Tests must be completed with Switch Health

    Your test must be completed using the Switch Health kit provided. If you didn’t get the vaccinated traveller exemption, you must stay in quarantine until you have received a negative test result, AND your 14-day quarantine period is complete.

    If you don’t have a test kit

    Contact Switch Health if you didn’t receive a kit, or you lost or damaged your kit.

    Invalid or indeterminate test results on your test

    If you receive an indeterminate result on your test, you must complete another test. Switch Health should automatically courier another test kit to you.

    Contact Switch Health right away to ensure a kit has been sent.

    You must stay in quarantine until you receive a negative result from your repeat test and you have completed your mandatory 14 day quarantine.

    If you don’t receive the results from your test

    Contact Switch Health directly if you haven't received your test result.

    You can only leave your place of quarantine if you receive a negative result from your test and you have completed your full 14-day quarantine.

    Contact Switch Health

    Phone

    Website

    If you haven’t received your test results, phone or email results@switchhealth.ca

    Manitoba

    Dynacare manages COVID-19 testing for arriving travellers in Manitoba.

    Contact Dynacare

    Phone

    Website

    Quebec

    If you’re arriving at the Montreal airport (YUL)

    Dynacare and Biron manage all COVID-19 testing for travellers arriving at the Montreal airport (YUL).

    Dynacare:

    Phone

    Website: Dynacare border testing

    Biron:

    Phone

    Email

    If you’re arriving at the Quebec City airport (YQB):

    Biron manages all COVID-19 testing for travellers arriving at the Quebec City airport (YQB).

    Phone

    Email

    Who doesn’t need a Day-8 test

    Fully vaccinated travellers arriving to Canada, who meet all the criteria, no longer need to take a Day-8 test.

    Check if you qualify as fully vaccinated

    Alaska: If you are driving between Alaska and continental United States, you won't receive a Day-8 test kit, as you don't need to submit one.

    Find out if your travel is exempt from Day-8 test requirements

    Fines and consequences of failing to complete your Day-8 test

    All travellers 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.

    You are under a legal obligation to take the arrival and Day-8 tests. Failure to comply with the requirements of the Quarantine Act and emergency orders made under this Act is an offence and could lead to fines of up to $750,000 or imprisonment. If you do not take the tests, you may also be transferred to a designated quarantine facility.

    Test results

    Arrival test results

    Travellers who qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption

    If you qualified for the fully vaccinated exemption, you’re not required to quarantine while you wait for your results.

    Negative results on your arrival test
    • follow local public health measures
    • maintain a list of all close contacts for your first 14 days in Canada
    • keep copies of your proof of vaccination for 14 days
    Positive results on your arrival test
    • isolate yourself from others right away
    • you will be contacted by your local public health authority
    • follow their instructions
    • keep copies of your proof of vaccination for 14 days
    Getting your arrival test results at your place of quarantine
    Negative results for your arrival test

    You must remain in your place of quarantine and complete your Day-8 test. You can only leave your place of quarantine if you receive a negative result on your Day-8 test AND have completed your mandatory 14-day quarantine.

    A negative test result usually means you don’t have COVID-19, but it is possible to receive a negative test result when you have already been infected with COVID-19, for example, prior to the development of symptoms.

    You are still required to complete a test on Day-8 of your quarantine.

    Positive results on your arrival test

    You must isolate yourself from others immediately for a period of 10 days beginning on the day you tested positive for COVID-19, which is the day you took the test. A government representative will call you to provide additional details and instructions.

    Invalid or indeterminate results from your arrival test

    You must take another test. Collect another specimen using your Day-8 kit with the instructions provided. Contact your service provider, and ask them to send you a replacement kit, to use on Day-8 of your quarantine.

    Day-8 test results

    You can only leave your place of quarantine once your mandatory 14-day quarantine is completed. You may leave quarantine at the end of your mandatory 14-day quarantine, even if you have not received your Day-8 test result.

    Negative results for your test

    Even if you receive a negative result from your Day-8 test before the end of your 14-day quarantine, you must still complete your mandatory 14-day quarantine.

    Positive results on your test

    You must isolate yourself from others immediately for a period of 10 days that begins from the time you took the test with positive results (i.e. date/time of specimen collection). A government representative will call you to provide you with additional instructions.

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