Looking to avoid delays or complications or delays at Canada's four largest airports? We recommend getting your COVID test early.
Ready to Get Started? Book Your Test Online.
While you may be unable to avoid taking a COVID-19 test after landing from your return flight to Canada, there's a solution to consider: Taking your COVID-19 test early.
Canada's four largest airports have been busy with travelers leaving and returning home to the country this summer, and many have been encountering well-publicized complications and delays. But not to despair; you have options.
Though Canada had dropped the pre-arrival testing requirement in the spring, people arriving by air at the country's four largest airports may be randomly chosen for off-site COVID testing.
On June 11, the federal government paused its random testing requirement to ease congestion at airports until select test provider stores and pharmacies could prepare to test at those venues.
The random COVID testing program resumed on Tuesday, July 19 for fully vaccinated travelers arriving in Canada by air in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.
Regardless of vaccination status, all travelers selected for a random test will be tested either during an in-person appointment at specific testing provider locations and pharmacies or a virtual appointment for a self-swab test.
Will my child need a test?
If you have children ages 5 to 11 who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated and you are selected for testing, they would also need to be tested. Children ages 5 through 11 do not have to be tested if they are fully vaccinated and not selected for random testing, even if their parents are selected.
However, they must be tested if they are chosen for mandatory randomized testing.
Who is exempt from random testing?
The following people are exempt from random testing:
- Crew and essential service providers who were already previously exempt
- Individuals who have recovered from a prior COVID-19 infection
You must provide proof of a PCR test conducted at least 10 calendar days and no more than 180 calendar days before entering Canada. Counting begins the day you take the test.
Travelers entering the country by boat or ferry would not need to take the test.
What if I'm not fully vaccinated or am only partially vaccinated?
If you are not fully vaccinated or have not received your full course of a vaccine approved by Health Canada (e.g. two doses of Pfizer, Moderna, etc.), you must quarantine for 14 days and take two tests, regardless of the first test result.
Take the first test on day one of your arrival in Canada and the second on day eight.
How can I potentially avoid complications or delays at the airport?
COVID Travel Test offers rapid testing for returning travelers. People returning to Canada can now gain entry with only a positive Rapid Antigen Test. You can purchase a Virtual Rapid Antigen test and pick it up at one of our clinics before you travel.
Another option is to purchase a Virtual Rapid Antigen test when booking your pre-departure rapid test and pick it up from us when you come in for your pre-departure test.
The kit can be used in conjunction with an online video call conveniently at your hotel before you return to Canada. Note that only Health Canada-approved testing kits provided by COVID Travel Test before departure are valid, and you'll require Internet access.
For information about finding out which test you'll require, whether you are a candidate for pre-travel testing and other important details, please see our Frequently Asked Questions regarding Travel Testing.
Get a COVID-19 Test Before You Go on Vacation
Preparing for vacation? You might consider COVID testing before your departure to help protect your and others' health and safety, and bring yourself more peace of mind while you're traveling.
At COVID Travel Test, we offer take-home testing kits for supervised at-home use, Rapid Antigen Tests for domestic and return travel, Expedited RT-PCR Tests for international travel as required (which will get you same-day results) and Regular RT-PCR Tests for international travel as required, for which you'll get results in 24 to 30 hours.