As of Dec 6, all international air travelers, including Canadians, flying into the U.S. from an international destination will be required to show proof of a negative Covid test result that was taken within 24 hours of departure. This new rule applies to all international travelers two years of age and older regardless of vaccination status. Alternatively, travelers to the United States also have the option of providing documentation from a licensed health care provider that they have recovered from Covid-19 90 days before travel. Previously, international travelers who were fully vaccinated were only required to show a negative test that was taken within 72 hours of flying to the U.S.
The new testing requirement is in response to growing concerns over the new Omicron Covid-19 variant. Many countries, including Canada, have introduced stricter international travel requirements and imposed bans on numerous African countries.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website states that “If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get a Covid-19 viral test (regardless of vaccination status or citizenship) no more than 1 day before you travel by air into the United States. You must show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight.
If you recently recovered from Covid-19, you may instead travel with documentation of recovery from Covid-19 (i.e., your positive Covid-19 viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).”
Canada recently introduced stricter travel rules for Canadians returning from international destinations. Canadian citizens, permanent residents and people with status under the Indian Act, are still allowed into the country. However, regardless of their vaccination status or having had a previous history of testing positive for Covid-19, if they have been in any of the above 10 countries in the previous 14 days, they will be subject to enhanced pre-entry and arrival testing, screening, and quarantine measures. The Canadian government also signalled its intentions to be able to change border requirements quickly by stating that, “Moving forward, border testing surveillance will be adjusted based on the latest available evidence to further reduce the risk of importation of this variant”.
The government also introduced new Covid-19 airport testing rules for all international travel aside from the U.S. The press release states that “In the coming days, all fully vaccinated travellers arriving by air from departure points other than the United States will be subject to arrival testing. Fully vaccinated travellers will be required to quarantine while they await the results of their arrival test.”
“Unvaccinated travellers, with right of entry to Canada, will continue to be tested on arrival and day 8 and quarantine for 14 days. However, those arriving by air will now be required to stay in a designated quarantine facility or other suitable location while they await the result of their on arrival test.” Note that Canada will continue to no longer require negative PCR Covid tests for shorter cross-border trips to the U.S.