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Canada Re-introducing Random COVID-19 Testing at the Airports

Austin Campbell



Random COVID-19 Testing at the Airport

Air travelers to Canada will be once again subject to random COVID-19 testing at the airports. To track the importation of the virus into the country, Canada resumes random testing for fully-vaccinated travelers at the airport after over a month’s break.

On June 11, Canada put a hold on the mandatory random testing and reintroduced it again on July 19. Citing the safety of the Canadians, the COVID-19 testing resumed at the Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, and Toronto airports. The people who are shortlisted for a random test will be notified with an email within 15 minutes of completing their custom declaration, clarifying how they can arrange for a test. Travelers who are fully vaccinated may complete their tests by online appointment or an in-person appointment at the selected pharmacies and follow quarantine requirements.

In case the arrival test comes out to be positive, travelers must quarantine for at least 10 days from the date of the test result, even if the province or territory’s quarantine requirement is shorter. In order to be considered fully vaccinated, a travelers must have administered two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, or at least one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 days before entering the country.


Testing of air travelers, despite vaccination status, will be organized outside of the airport. It will be conducted either at an in-person appointment at a mentioned provider or through an online appointment for a self-swab test. Travelers who are not fully vaccinated must opt for a 14-day quarantine and test themselves on days one and eight.

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Travelers are also recommended to use ArriveCAN to offer mandatory travel information within 3 days before landing in Canada, with few exceptions. According to the Federal government moving random COVID-19 testing outside of airports will help Canada to identify and act toward the new variants and other movements in the epidemiological situation.

In a recent release, Canadian Transport Minister quoted that “As the travel increases across the globe, streamlining testing processes is essential and it’s important to conduct testing outside the airport to prevent further spread of the virus. The government will continue to do everything in power to protect travelers and employees.”

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