COVID-19 testing update on travellers to Canada

More clarity was provided on January 7 about COVID-testing requirements for those temporary foreign workers about to board flights to Canada. Jonathan Wallace, executive director, temporary foreign workers, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) released the following statement: 


These measures, which come into force on January 7, 2021 (00:00 EST), outline the following:


-  Travellers must provide a negative laboratory test result for COVID-19 conducted within 72 hours of departure to Canada. The test must be performed by an accredited lab in the source country using one of two types of COVID-19 tests – either a molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) test.


-  Airlines will be verifying the negative tests, so passengers must retain copies of test results and must present them prior to boarding.


These measures are in addition to the existing requirements, such as providing a quarantine plan and mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon arrival to Canada, among others.  There are currently no exemptions for temporary foreign workers. For more detail, link here:

On January 6, 2021, the government announced time-limited flexibilities for travellers departing from some countries in recognition of the need for testing systems to adjust. Travellers departing from Mexico and Jamaica, as well as some Caribbean, Central American and South America countries can use tests conducted within 96 hours of departure (instead of 72 hours) until 00:01 EST on January 14, 2021. A full list of countries can be found at this link:


ESDC is working closely with departments across the federal government to ensure the continued safe and timely entry of temporary foreign workers into Canada in order to maintain the strength of Canada’s food supply chain. As part of this, ESDC is engaging with key stakeholders and government partners.


In addition, Global Affairs Canada is leading efforts to collect information on testing availability and capacity in key source countries. This information is being updated regularly and posted to the website under the health tab per country of interest.


Source:  Employment and Social Development Canada January 7, 2021.

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Friday, January 8, 2021

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