Ottawa Drops Testing Mandate for Arrivals from China, Hong Kong, Macau

Canada Airport Arrivals

Effective 17MAR, Canada has dropped its requirement that air travellers arriving from China, Hong Kong and Macau provide a negative COVID-19 test prior to departure.

The measure came into effect 05JAN, Canada's Public Health Agency reiterates in its statement 17MAR, "in response to the surge of COVID-19 in the People’s Republic of China and given the limited data available at that time on those cases."

The removal of the testing mandate means that there will no longer be any federal COVID-19 border measures in place.

Canada's move follows one week after the U.S. government dropped its own testing requirement for arrivals from China put in place at the same time.

According to Ottawa, since Canada and other countries put in place temporary border measures in JAN,2023, data from China, the international community, and wastewater sampling conducted in Canada, have not detected any new variants of concern. In addition, the government says, the COVID-19 situation in both China and Canada has improved, and the Canadian healthcare systems remain stable.

The Canadian government continues to recommend that travellers wear "well-constructed and well-fitted" masks on planes and in airports, or other crowded indoor settings. And it reminds people not to travel if they have COVID symptoms.

Ottawa leaves the door open to reinstating any health-related border or travel measures, stating in its release: "The Government of Canada continues to work with international partners to enhance sequencing capacity and closely monitors the global epidemiology of COVID-19 and emerging novel variants of concern. The Government of Canada will not hesitate to adjust measures to protect the health and safety of people in Canada, should it be required."

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