Canada has announced revised testing guidelines for travellers arriving from India and Morocco.
As of 28th January 2022, Canada no longer requires passengers travelling on nonstop flights from India to Canada to get a COVID test done within 18 hours before departure. Canada continues to require that all travellers, unless specifically exempted, have a valid negative pre-departure COVID-19 molecular test result taken within 72 hours before a scheduled flight to Canada.
In addition to this, travellers from India and Morocco will no longer be required to obtain a valid negative pre-departure COVID-19 test from a third country. This means that passengers travelling from, say India to Canada via the Gulf/Europe/US will no longer need to be tested at the transit country before taking a connecting flight to their destination.
Transport Canada tweeted:
All travellers entering Canada are now subject to the same pre-entry test requirements, regardless of their departure country.
The Canadian government states that “as travellers arriving in Canada by air may be required to be tested for COVID-19 before leaving the airport, they are strongly encouraged to pre-register with testing providers prior to travel. Pre-registration will help reduce congestion in airports and processing time for travellers in crowded areas. Registration upon arrival takes about 15 minutes, whereas testing itself takes 2-4 minutes for pre-registered travellers. Pre-registering for the test has no impact on selection for testing.”
All travellers, regardless of how long they were away from Canada, continue to be required to submit their mandatory information via ArriveCAN (free mobile app or website), including proof of vaccination in English or French and a quarantine plan prior to arriving in Canada. Also, the Government of Canada continues to advise Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of the country at this time.
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Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport of Canada said:
Safeguarding the health and safety of Canadians is always at the forefront of any decision our government makes in the fight against COVID-19 and its variants. We continue to collaborate with air operators, and their hard work in implementing the ongoing changes to air travel requirements has greatly contributed to the safety and security of Canadians and our transportation system. The epidemiological situation in Canada and abroad remains closely monitored and our officials and experts continue to evaluate the measures in place and recommend necessary adjustments to keep Canadians and our transportation system safe and secure.
Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health of Canada, said:
Border measures continue to be an important part of Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and serve to protect the health and safety of all Canadians. Like every other element of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 response, border measures are informed by available data, scientific evidence and monitoring of the epidemiological situation both in Canada and internationally.
Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety of Canada, said:
The safety and security of Canadians is our government’s top priority. As we fight this wave of the pandemic, we are maintaining our measured and responsible policies at the border. We will continue to take decisive action to secure our borders and protect our communities, because that’s what Canadians expect.
On 27th September 2021, Canada allowed resumption of directs flights from India, over five months after suspending the same during the second COVID-19 wave in India. However, the resumption came with stricter testing requirements. The nonstop flights were only available from Delhi with Air Canada and Air India operating multiple flights to various Canadian destinations. Passengers needed to obtain a pre-departure negative COVID-19 molecular result from a test done at Delhi Airport’s Genestrings Laboratory within 18 hours before their scheduled departure.
As these stringent testing requirements have gone, this could pave the way for direct flights between more Indian cities and Canada because as of now, nonstop flights only to and from Delhi are allowed.
Air Canada recently started 3-weekly flights between Montreal and Delhi and also increased flight frequency between Toronto and Delhi to 10-flights-a-week. In addition to these flights, the airline also operates daily flight between Vancouver and Delhi. Air Canada has also scheduled 4-weekly flights between Toronto and Mumbai starting 30th October 2022. Air India, which is now a private airline under the Tata Group, operates daily flight to Toronto from Delhi and 3-weekly flights to Vancouver from Delhi.
What do you think of Canada relaxing testing requirements for travellers arriving from India and Morocco? Let me know in the comments section below.