Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has announced new rules that will come into force on 7 January, requiring people over the age of five entering the country to show evidence of a negative PCR Covid-19 test taken no more than three days before arrival.
Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair announced the measures at the end of December.
International travellers must still complete the mandatory 14 days quarantine on arrival arrival in the country. The testing requirement is meant to add another layer of protection at a time when many Canadians typically would be travelling to warmer destinations during winter.
New virus cases prompt stricter rules
“We do believe there is some efficacy in a pre-boarding test to add to the very strict regime of quarantining we have in place,” Blair said.
Canada has been hit by a new wave of virus cases that have prompted lockdowns in major cities in recent weeks. There’s also growing unease about new strains of the virus that have surfaced in Canada.
IATA expresses ‘deep frustration’
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has expressed ‘deep frustration’ at the new rules fo entering Canada. The organisation said that the combined measures are the ‘worst of both worlds’ and it is unrealistic for airlines to have to check passengers’ compliance with the new rule. It also questioned the need for PCR tests as opposed to other forms of Covid test accepted by various countries.
IATA said that Canada already has one of the world’s most ‘draconian Covid-19 border control regimes’. It says that while it believes that testing inbound travellers is the way forward, this should be as a replacement for quarantine measures.
The organisation added: “After nine months of closed borders and confinement, we cannot afford to move in the wrong direction with the disastrous implementation of a counter-productive testing policy.”