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Canada lifting pre-arrival COVID-19 testing requirement as of April 1

Soon, most travellers entering Canada will not have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, CTV News has learned.

As of April 1, the federal government will be lifting the pre-arrival COVID-19 testing requirement at the border for fully vaccinated travellers.

Passengers may still be subjected to random PCR testing at the airport, and travellers will still have to use the ArriveCAN app to enter their proof of vaccination and other required information.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra and Tourism Minister Randy Boissonnault will be announcing the latest easing of pandemic travel restrictions on Thursday.

As the border rules stand, fully vaccinated travellers are required to show proof of a health professional-administered negative rapid antigen test taken ahead of a scheduled flight or crossing at a land border.

This has been the policy since late February, when the government eased the requirement for all travellers to present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of their arrival.

Eliminating the testing requirement is something that travel and tourism organizations as well as the mayors of border towns have been calling for, arguing that the requirement is not justified by science and presented an unnecessary logistical and financial burden on travellers.

The source said that Canada has decided to lift this requirement because the epidemiological indicators, including positivity rates at the border, are on a “downward trend.” The source cautioned that the entry requirements could change again, should the situation evolve.

Last month, the government also lifted its travel advisory against all non-essential international travel. The requirement to be fully vaccinated in order to board federally regulated air, rail, and marine transportation remains in effect.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government will keep looking at whether further measures can be eased at the border based on science, noting that he thinks “all Canadians are pretty damn tired of two years of this pandemic, and eager to get back to normal as much as possible.”

With files from Senior Political Correspondent for CTV News Channel Mike Le Couteur and CTV News' Tom Yun Top Stories


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