Skip to main content

What to know about Canada's travel rules as of April 1


As of April 1, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to provide a negative pre-entry COVID-19 test result to enter Canada by air, land or water.

Eliminating the testing requirement, which was announced by the federal government on Thursday, is something that travel and tourism organizations have been calling for, arguing that the requirement is not justified by science and presented an unnecessary logistical and financial burden on travellers.

However, federal officials say they will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation in Canada and abroad, and changes may be made to travel requirements as the epidemiological situation evolves.

Despite pre-arrival testing requirements being lifted for fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada at the end of the month, other pandemic travel rules still apply. breaks down what travellers need to know for April 1.


As CTV News has reported, the pre-arrival COVID-19 testing requirement at the border for fully vaccinated travellers will no longer be in place as of April 1, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. ET.

Passengers may still be subjected to mandatory, random PCR testing at the airport -- in part to monitor for new, emerging COVID-19 variants -- though they will not be required to isolate while awaiting their results.

Unvaccinated and partially-vaccinated travellers will still need to isolate and be tested on arrival, and again eight days later.

Unless otherwise exempt, all travellers five years of age or older who do not qualify as fully vaccinated must continue to provide proof of an accepted type of pre-entry COVID-19 test result.

Until April 1, fully vaccinated travellers are required to show proof of a health professional-administered negative rapid antigen test taken no more than one day before arriving at a port of entry, or a negative molecular test taken no more than 72 hours before 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.

Last month, the government also lifted its travel advisory against all non-essential international travel and is now advising travellers to practise "enhanced health precautions" when travelling internationally.


Despite pre-entry test requirements lifting, the requirement to be fully vaccinated with a government-approved COVID-19 vaccine in order to board federally-regulated air, rail, and marine transportation remains in effect, with the government indicating no intention to lift the policy for travel at this time.

In addition, travellers still have to use the ArriveCAN app to enter their proof of vaccination and other required information before arriving in Canada.

Travellers who arrive without completing their ArriveCAN submission may have to test on arrival and quarantine for 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status.


Prior to travelling, the government also recommends checking the COVID-19 testing and vaccination requirements, as well as other entry requirements, at one's destination as they may be different from Canada's rules.

For example, all air passengers two years or older with a flight departing to the U.S. from a foreign country -- regardless of their vaccination status -- are still required to show a negative COVID-19 antigen test result taken no more than one day before departure, or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days.

Travellers are also advised by the Canadian government to monitor the COVID-19 situation at their destination in the days before travelling should the status of COVID-19 infections and public health requirements there change.


Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said during Thursday's announcement that when the season starts in early April, cruise passengers will still be required to take an antigen test in order to board a ship no more than one day before their scheduled departure, but will no longer need to be tested before getting off the ship.

All other requirements for cruises, including providing proof of vaccination before boarding, remain in place.

The government continues to warn travellers that the virus can spread easily between people in close quarters, such as on cruise ships, which became epicentres at sea for the novel coronavirus when the pandemic began.

The government says the chance of being infected with COVID-19 on cruise ships is still "very high," even for those who are fully vaccinated.


While worries around testing positive while on a trip and being unable to return to Canada will no longer be a concern as of April 1, experts say purchasing travel insurance before a trip is still "very" important.

Martin Firestone, president of Travel Secure, a Toronto-based travel insurance brokerage, told that COVID-19 is now included in insurance polices for fully vaccinated travellers and is being "treated as any unexpected medical emergency" that may occur while abroad.

"There is little risk of you ending up in a hospital or on a ventilator or in ICU because of COVID," Firestone said in a telephone interview Thursday. "The risk is not there like it once was two years ago."

He said insurers have recognized that the virus poses little risk for fully vaccinated travellers, and will cover any hospitalization costs incurred should they suffer from severe symptoms without any increase to the overall policy cost.

In addition, if you run into any unexpected issues, including sudden changes to border restrictions, and you've already purchased a non-refundable plane ticket, most companies offer trip interruption or cancellation insurance to reimburse the airfare. This also applies for some policies to contracting COVID-19 shortly before a trip.

However, Firestone said trip cancellation coverage does not cover the costs if a traveller "changes their mind" about the trip and no longer feels comfortable travelling amid COVID-19.


Experts say Canadian travellers should brace for a massive influx in bookings and rising prices now that the federal government has said it will lift the pre-arrival COVID-19 testing requirement for fully vaccinated travellers on April 1.

Aside from price, Andrew D'Amours, co-founder of the travel advice website Flytrippers, told that travellers should also be prepared to be flexible when booking post-pandemic trips due to the sheer number of others looking for a little getaway.

"You have to be flexible about either your date or your destination. Whenever you want to leave, there is going to be some destination that’s on sale. If you want to go to a specific destination and you’re flexible on dates, you’re always going to be able to find a cheaper flight," D'Amours said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

However, experts warn that just because Canada is removing its pre-arrival testing requirement for fully vaccinated travellers, that doesn't mean your destination will have the same rules. D'Amours said trips amid the pandemic still require planning, despite the pre-entry test being eliminated.

"You can’t just buy a flight and hop on a plane like you used to in 2019. You have to read the rules," D'Amours said. "It’s not very fun… but you have to review just to make sure that you're following all of their entry rules to make sure that you're not denied boarding and you have the right type of test if you need one."

With files from's Rachel Aiello and Nicole Bogart Top Stories

Local Spotlight

Stay Connected