Canada Requires Negative Covid-19 PCR-RT Test For All Air Arrivals Effective January 7, 2021


Canadian minister announced on Wednesday that soon, all passengers arriving by air would need to provide a negative Covid-19 PCR-RT test that was administered within 72 hours of scheduled departure.

On Friday, the Transport Minister confirmed the date of January 7, 2021, when this requirement begins, that won’t apply to land arrivals. Passengers who have not been able to administer PCR-RT tests before arriving in the country by air are quarantined at government facilities for two weeks.

Here’s an excerpt from the CBC:

Under the new rule, travellers must receive a negative result on a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test — the standard nose swab test for detecting active COVID-19 infections — within 72 hours of boarding a flight to Canada.

There are two possible outcomes for passengers who fail to obtain PCR tests prior to departure, Garneau said in an interview with CBC News.

“One is, if they haven’t got the test result and there are clinics available, they will have to reschedule their departure because they won’t be allowed on board,” he said. “If, on the other hand, they can demonstrate … that there was no facility, then they can be admitted onboard.”

Travellers who can prove that they were unable to get a test abroad will have to quarantine for 14 days at a federally-approved facility upon their arrival.


Canada has banned most non-citizen/resident arrivals, but some essential business and other travelers are also allowed to enter.

Getting a Covid-19 test administered no more than 72 hours of your scheduled departure and having results on time can be challenging in some destinations.

There is also an issue with these PCR-RT tests picking up some leftover virus RNA for several months after recovery resulting in a positive result.

Canadians can always fly to a US airport close to the border and then cross to Canada by car (not sure if by foot is possible) with no test requirement.