The Government of Canada has announced that pre-departure Covid-19 testing and proof of negative results are now mandatory for all air passengers arriving in Canada as of 7 January 2021.

The aim of the mandatory Covid-19 testing is to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Canada.

Despite the new rules, air passengers will still have to submit to the compulsory 14-day quarantine period before being permitted to move freely around the country.

The Canadian Government declared on its website that ‘not respecting the mandatory requirements is a serious offence’ and offenders will have to face consequences and penalties.

Within 72 hours of their departure, all travellers above the age of five will be required to take a coronavirus molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

Before boarding, passengers must present their negative test results, with written or electronic proof, to the airlines.

The test must be provided by an accredited lab or an ‘external organisation’ like a local government, stated the Government of Canada on its website.

In the absence of a negative PCR test, passengers will not be allowed to board flights within Canada, unless otherwise exempt.

Travellers arriving from countries where PCR testing is unavailable will be required to report to a designated quarantined zone run by the Public Health Agency of Canada. All passengers will be responsible for paying for the PCR tests themselves.

Travellers have also been advised by federal officials to procure travel insurance, with insurance plans covering all medical expenditures.